Effects Of Stroke
List Of Most Common Outcomes Of Strokes

effects of stroke on the body

Right and Left Sided Brain Strokes

Effects Of Strokes


What Are The Effects Of Stroke?
What Are Effects Of A Right-Brain Stroke?
A Left-Brain Stroke?
A Cerebellar Stroke?
A Brain Stem Stroke?

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Stroke in Women Information

What Are The Effects Of Stroke?

The impact of a stroke can range from relatively mild to seriously disabling depending on the area of the brain affected and the severity of the brain injury. It can lead to paralysis down one side of the body, it can effect emotions, sight, and memory, the ability to speak and swallow food. With stroke rehabilitation many of these problems can improve. In some people they will cure completely as the brain makes new connections and restores lost function. The following is a list of the broad areas a person can be affected by stroke:

Weakness And Paralysis
Paralysis or weakness is one of the most common disabilities that results from a stroke. It usually occurs on one side of the body, opposite to the side of the brain which was damaged. For example if the right side of the brain was affected it can result in paralysis on the left side of the body. Paralysis can affect the face, the arm, the leg or the whole side of the body. Everyday activities like dressing and walking become difficult. Lack of feeling on one side of the body can cause a person to neglect that side of the body, ignoring objects they bump into or only dressing the other side of the body. One-sided neglect is more common in stroke survivors who suffered a right sided brain injury. Read more about this at stroke recovery.

Lack Of Perception
A stroke can affect a person's ability to see, touch, move and think. This is known as sensory damage. As a result their perception of everyday objects becomes changed. They may not recognize everyday familiar objects the way they used to. Objects can look further away than they actually are, making patients appear clumsy when they cause drinks to spill on a table or when they bump into a door. They may also lose their ability to sense pain or temperature.

Some people experience pain, tingling or numbness in the affected limbs. A paralyzed limb can become frozen from lack of movement and cause discomfort. Damage to the nervous system can also cause chronic (persistent) pain, either in the affected limb or elsewhere in the body.

Speech Impairments
About 25 percent of stroke victims experience some difficulty with speech, understanding speech, reading or writing. This condition is known as aphasia. Although stroke does not usually affect hearing it may appear that the person has not heard properly because they are having difficulties processing what you have said. A person with expressive aphasia has trouble conveying her thoughts and words. Out of frustration she may result to the use of expletives. If she has receptive aphasia she has difficulties understanding what others are saying and may respond incoherently. If the person also has dysarthria, this means the muscles involved with speech are affected and their speech becomes slurred and inarticulate. Each stroke survivor's language difficulties is unique to him or her. A speech therapist can help set up an individualized stroke treatment plan to help both the patient and their family to understand one another.

Memory And Learning
Some people develop shortened attention spans, poor short term memory and difficulties learning new tests. The ability to connect thought and action may be impaired making it difficult for patients to plan ahead, organize or follow instructions. Stroke survivors may not know how to start a task because they confuse the logical steps and forget how to proceed, even if they have completed the task many times in the past. Also some people have difficulties with simple arithmetic leading to problems for example counting change.

Physical damage to the emotional center of the brain can lead to irrational emotional reactions, mood swings and personality changes. The person might cry or laugh uncontrollably. Depression is another common problem, but is usually more of a reaction to disability.

Swallowing Difficulties
Dysphagia is a condition where people have difficulties swallowing and occurs when one side of the mouth is weakened. About 50 percent of stroke survivors suffer this condition which causes increased risk of choking when trying to swallow foods or liquids. Doctors rate dysphagia according to a 7 point scale which is known as The Dysphagia Outcome and Severity Scale (DOSS). The more severe the condition, the more like insurance companies are to cover the costs of speech therapy.

Interesting Articles
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Stroke Prevention: Learn how to reduce your chances.

What Are The Effects Of A Right-Hemisphere Stroke?

The brain is divided into 4 main parts: The right side (right hemisphere) and the left side (left hemisphere) which together are known as the cerebrum (image). The third area is the cerebellum and the fourth is the brain stem.

The right side of the brain controls movement of the left side of the body. It also controls analytical tasks such as judging distance, position, size and speed of objects (image). If a person has a stroke on the right side of the brain it can cause:

Paralysis: On the left side of the body (known as left hemiplegia).
Distances: Difficulties judging distance of objects, so they have problems reaching and grabbing objects or tying their shoes.
Reading: Problems reading, unable to tell upside down from right way up.
Behavior Misjudgment: Some develop a lack of awareness of their own inability. This can lead them to walk without an aid or try driving a car.
Short Term Memory Loss: Although they can remember the day they married 30 years ago, they can't remember what they had for breakfast that morning.

What Are The Effects Of A Left-Hemisphere Stroke?

Paralysis: On the right side of the body (known as right hemiplegia).
Aphasia: A catch all term to describe speech and language problems. Some patients may have problems speaking, others may have problems writing or understanding speech - although badly affected patients might experience problems in all areas.
Behavior Changes: Where a right sided stroke can lead to impulsive behavior, left sided strokes can lead to people becoming slower and more cautious. They may need frequent feedback, encouragement and instruction on how to complete tasks.
Memory: Left-hemisphere stroke patients can develop memory problems similar to right sided stroke survivors.

What Are The Effects Of A Cerebellar Stroke?

This part of the brain controls many of our reflexes such as coordination and balance. A stroke that takes place in this area can cause balance problems, lack of coordination, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

What Are The Effects Of A Brain Stem Stroke?

Strokes which occur in this part of the brain are particularly dangerous and devastating. The brain stem controls all our involuntary life support systems - that is, activities our body do without conscious thought on our part including breathing and maintaining blood pressure and a regular heart beat. It also controls eye movements, speech, hearing and swallowing. Since impulses generated in both the left and right hemispheres need to travel through the brain stem to the rest of the body, patients with brain stem stroke can end up paralyzed on one or both sides of the body.

Other Effects Of Stroke

• Lack of interest in sexual activity for several months.
• Extreme fatigue, sometimes persisting for 12 months.
• Spasms of the leg.
• Urinary incontinence.
• In younger women, fertility and menstruation are not affected.

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For more vascular health, see the following:

Causes of Stroke
Stroke Diagnosis
Natural Remedies for Stroke

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