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|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 633
NAMASTE for stroke awareness
Department of Neuroimaging and Interventional Radiology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
|Date of Web Publication||4-Aug-2015|
Department of Neuroimaging and Interventional Radiology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Varadharajan S. NAMASTE for stroke awareness. Neurol India 2015;63:633
A review of the current prehospital scales shows  that clinical or self-assessment factors in early stroke predominantly include facial droop, arm drift, grip weakness, and slurring of speech.
All of these can be simultaneously tested if the patient is asked to perform a traditional NAMASTE and say it aloud with a smile. If the patient is alone, self-assessment in front of a mirror with the eyes open can be practiced. In addition, the patient can close his eyes and practice it in front of a relative/guardian/health care personnel to test for proprioception and balance.
A traditional NAMASTE involves flexion with abduction at shoulder, flexion at elbows and extension of the wrist with palms facing each other. This can used to test arm drift. If the patient is asked to press palms and fingers against each other, any weakness of fingers can be detected which could yield the same information as testing the grip.
Additionally, the patient is asked to smile and say NAMASTE during the assessment. This can detect any facial droop, asymmetry or slurring of speech. Further, in order to simplify the process, synonyms in local languages can be used to mean the same (e.g., Vanakkam in Tamil). Closing the eyes during the assessment in the presence of other people can also additionally detect abnormalities of the vestibular or sensory pathways which might get involved in posterior circulation strokes.
This can be used as a simple prehospital screening method in early detection of strokes. Public awareness campaigns can educate the general public about the signs and symptoms of stroke so that more people reach a stroke center within the narrow window period for stroke intervention. Stroke is a national epidemic as recent statistics show  and the first step towards curbing it is to increase the public awareness about stroke and to disseminate education regarding the importance of its early detection.
| » References|| |
Brandler ES, Sharma M, Sinert RH, Levine SR. Prehospital stroke scales in urban environments: A systematic review. Neurology 2014;82:2241-9.
Gourie-Devi M. Epidemiology of neurological disorders in India: Review of background, prevalence and incidence of epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson′s disease and tremors. Neurol India 2014;62:588-98