Effects of Stroke

Effects of Stroke
Strokes affect different people in different ways, depending on the type of stroke and the area of the brain affected and the extent of the brain injury.

Brain injury from a stroke can affect the

  • Motor activity
  • Speech
  • Ability to understand speech
  • Behavioural patterns
  • Thought patterns
  • Memory
  • Emotions

Paralysis or weakness on one side of the body is common.

Effect of stroke on emotions

A stroke survivor may cry easily, often for no apparent reason. This is called emotional lability. Laughing uncontrollably may also occur but is not as common as crying.

Depression is common.

Effect of Stroke on awareness

Stroke often causes people to lose mobility and/or feeling in an arm and/or leg, or suffer dimness of sight on one side. The loss of feeling or visual field results in a loss of awareness, so stroke survivors may forget or ignore their weaker side. As a result, they may ignore items put on their affected side, have trouble reading, or dress only one side of their bodies and think they’re completely dressed. Bumping into furniture or door jambs is also common. One-side neglect is most common in those with injury to the right hemisphere of the brain.

Effect of Stroke on perception

A stroke can also affect seeing, touching, moving and thinking, so a person’s perception of everyday objects may be changed. Stroke survivors may not be able to recognize and understand familiar objects the way they did before. When vision is affected, objects may look closer or farther away than they really are, causing spills at the table or collisions when walking.

Effect of Stroke on hearing and speech

Usually stroke doesn’t cause hearing loss, although people may have problems understanding speech. They also may have trouble saying what they’re thinking. This is called Aphasia. Aphasia affects the ability to talk, listen, read and write. It is most common when a stroke weakens the right side of the body.A related problem is that a stroke can affect muscles used in talking (those in the tongue, palate and lips), and speech can be slowed, slurred or distorted. Stroke survivors thus can be hard to understand. This is called Dysarthria.

Effect of Stroke on chewing and swallowing food

This problem, called Dysphagia, can occur when one side of the mouth is weak.

Effect of Stroke on ability to think clearly

Planning and carrying out even simple activities may be difficult. Stroke survivors may not know how to start a task, confuse the sequence of logical steps in tasks, or forget how to do tasks they’ve done many times before.