Effects of Stroke

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Physical Effects

Physical Challenges

Physical Challenges
Learn more about the many physical challenges that commonly occur after stroke such as paralysis, seizures, muscle tightness and stiffness (spasticity), fatigue and more.

Communication Challenges

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Communication Challenges
Stroke may affect communication in a number of ways. Learn more about conditions impacting speech, language, reading and writing and find tips for continuing to improve your communication skills.

Emotional & Behavioral Challenges

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Emotional & Behavioral Challenges
Emotional and behavioral changes are a common effect of stroke. Not only can stroke impact one's mood and outlook, but the area of the brain injury and chemical changes may have significant effects on the brain.

brainThe brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can't reach the region that controls a particular body function, that part of the body won't work as it should.

If the stroke occurs toward the back of the brain, for instance, it's likely that some disability involving vision will result. The effects of a stroke depend primarily on the location of the obstruction and the extent of brain tissue affected.

Right Brain
The effects of a stroke depend on several factors, including the location of the obstruction and how much brain tissue is affected. However, because one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, a stroke affecting one side will result in neurological complications on the side of the body it affects. For example, if the stroke occurs in the brain's right side, the left side of the body (and the left side of the face) will be affected, which could produce any or all of the following:
  • Paralysis on the left side of the body   
  • Vision problems   
  • Quick, inquisitive behavioral style   
  • Memory loss
Left Brain
If the stroke occurs in the left side of the brain, the right side of the body will be affected, producing some or all of the following:
  • Paralysis on the right side of the body   
  • Speech/language problems   
  • Slow, cautious behavioral style   
  • Memory loss
Brain Stem
When stroke occurs in the brain stem, depending on the severity of the injury, it can affect both sides of the body and may leave someone in a ‘locked-in’ state. When a locked-in state occurs, the patient is generally unable to speak or achieve any movement below the neck.

Take a Tour of the Brain: Our user-friendly guide to the components of the human brain and how they function.

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This content was last reviewed on 10/23/2012.