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Effects of a Stroke

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Older Mommy Still Yummy: Effects of a Stroke

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Effects of a Stroke

If you missed last weeks post, you can find it here.

Each stroke is different.  How well you recover from a stroke depends upon many factors including how much and what parts of your brain were damaged and your health before the stroke.  The work you do with your stroke rehabilitation team and the support from family and friends is also important to your recovery.
A stroke damages the brain and causes a sudden loss of brain function.  Because your brain controls everything you do, say and think a stroke can have a lot of different effects.

The cerebrum

The cerebrum is responsible for controlling movement and sensation, speech, thinking, memory, sexual function and regulation of emotions.  It is divided into right and left sides or hemispheres.
Effects of left hemisphere strokes
  • Weakness or paralysis on the right side of your body.  Trouble reading, talking, thinking or doing math.
  • Your behaviour may become more slow and cautious than usual.
  • You may have trouble learning or remembering new information.

Effects of right hemisphere strokes
  • Weakness or paralysis on the left side of your body.
  • Vision problems
  • Problems distinguishing distance, depth, between up and down, or between front and back.  this can make it hard to pick up objects, button a shirt, or tie your shoes.
  • Problems understanding maps.
  • Problems with short-term memory.  You may be able to remember something that happened several years ago, but not something you did a few minutes ago.
  • Forgetting or ignoring objects or people on your left side (this is called neglect).  You may  even ignore your own left arm or leg.
  • Judgement difficulties, such as acting impulsively or not realizing your own limitations.

Brain Stem strokes 
  • This is an uncommon type of stroke.  The brain stem is the area at the very base of the brain, right above the spinal cord.  if you have a stroke in the brain stem, you can have problems with:
  • Breathing and heart function.
  • Body temperature control
  • Balance and coordination
  • weakness or paralysis of your arms and legs on both sides of the body.
  • Chewing, swallowing and speaking.
  • Vision.
Strokes in the cerebellum

Although strokes are less common in the cerebellum. (The part of the brain at the back of the skull, its function is to coordinate and regulate muscular activity) The effects can be severe.  Four common effects of strokes in the cerebellum include:
  • Inability to walk and problems with coordination and balance (called ataxia).
  • Dizziness
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
Will a stroke change my life?
Any major illness will change your life.  Almost all stroke survivors recover to some extent. Most stroke survivors go on to lead full, meaningful lives. 

Over several Wednesdays I will offer information on the following - 
 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 November 17, 2011 at 7:23 AM , Blogger Kathy said...

Nobody ever likes to think they or a loved one could ever have a stroke. But knowing the symptoms can certainly help us identify what to look for and get immediate help.
Thanks for posting what we all don't want to see know.


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