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STROKE - Anatomy of the brain

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Older Mommy Still Yummy: STROKE - Anatomy of the brain

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

STROKE - Anatomy of the brain

To be able to understand what happens to our bodies in the event of a stroke, we must first begin to understand the brain.

If you missed my first post on STROKE, you can find it HERE

What is the brain?
Different parts of the brain control different functions. When someone has a stroke, the functions that are affected depend upon which area of the brain was damaged and how much damage occurred. Learning what the different parts of the brain do can help you understand why the effects of stroke can be so different among different people.
What are the parts of the brain?
The brain is divided into three areas, the brain stemcerebellum and cerebrum:
The brain stem sits at the base of the brain and connects to the top of your spine. It maintains important body functions such as breathing, swallowing, digestion, eye movement and your heartbeat. Strokes in the brain stem are often fatal, but when they are not, they affect many of these functions.
The cerebellum is located at the bottom of the brain, at the back of your head. It is attached to the back of the brain stem, and looks like a miniature brain. It helps control some automatic responses and behaviours, simple movements such as picking up a small object, and more complicated tasks such as balancing. A stroke in this part of the brain could cause a lack of coordination, clumsiness, shaking or other movement disorders.
Also known as the "thinking brain," the cerebrum is the main, bulky part of your brain. This is where thinking and muscle control occurs. The cerebrum is made of two halves or hemispheres. Each hemisphere is divided into portions called lobes.
Usually, one of these hemispheres is slightly more developed and is called the dominant side. The dominant side is where written and spoken language is organized. In almost all of us, the left hemisphere is dominant even if you are right handed. Because the nervous system is set up in a cross-over design, the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body, and vice versa.
Over the next several weeks I will offer information on the following - 
  • Anatomy of the brain...continued - next Wednesday
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA or mini-stroke)
  • Hemorragic stroke
  • Stroke in children (Paediatric stroke)
  • Effects of a stroke

 All information contained in this post was obtained, with permission, from the Heart and Stroke Foundation  website. Please visit their site for more information.


The material provided on this site is designed for information and educational purposes only. The materials are not intended to be a self diagnostic and/or self treatment tool. I encourage you to use this information as a tool for discussing your condition with your health practitioner.

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At September 14, 2011 at 10:34 PM , Blogger Kathy said...

What great information. As a retired nurse, I tend to have forgotten a lot of the details of the functions. This will make an excellent refresher course.


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