DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, and Thursday afternoon, Wiregrass residents had the chance to learn a little bit more about them thanks to a giant inflatable brain.
The “Mega Brain” exhibit is an 18-foot-long, 14-foot-wide, 12-feet-high inflatable exhibit that allows attendees to walk through it, and be educated about brain function and disease.
As wiregrass residents walked through the Mega Brain, they were able to see part of the inside of the human brain including the structure.
The large inflatable also shows and gives more details on some of the diseases that can affect the brain, including strokes.
“It kind of helps demonstrate and show some of the disease pathologies that can happen within the brain rather that be a stroke, a brain tumor a hemorrhage within the brain or other infectious processes: meningitis, other degenerate processes such as Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Josh Bentley, from Southeast Health Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery. “As this inflatable enlarges, it helps us kind of show people what’s really going on in some of those processes in better detail.”
Addiction, depression, disease, and brain trauma are also talked about while walking through and of the most important topics that’s brought to the forefront is strokes.
“Weakness on one side of the body is the most classic symptom,” Dr. Bentley said. “Say their right arm is no longer functional when that usually goes on. They also can’t speak. They may also have sensation changes, numbness, tingling, dizziness; those are kind of the classic presentation.”
If you ever think someone is having a stroke, here’s what you need to do.
“One, make sure their okay that they’re not going to fall down and hurt themselves, the next thing you do is cal 9-1-1,” Dr. Bentley said. “Get them taken to the closest hospital as soon as possible so they can be evaluated to see if they’re having a stroke and determine what the next step would be.”
A few of the risk factors for a stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, an irregular heartbeat where you can form clots, and disease within the Carotid Artery.