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Changes Caused by Stroke

The brain controls how a person moves, feels, thinks and acts. Brain injury from stroke may affect any of those abilities.

These are some things stroke patients may experience:

  • Hemiparesis (weakness on one of side of the body) or hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body)
  • One-sided neglect (ignoring or forgetting one side)
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Difficulty getting words out or understanding what is being said
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Decreased field of vision and difficulty with visual perception
  • Loss of emotional control and changes in mood
  • Cognitive changes (problems with memory, judgment, problem-solving or a combination of these)
  • Behavior changes (personality changes, improper language or actions)
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits

Common Emotional Effects of Stroke:

  • Depression
  • Apathy and lack of motivation
  • Tiredness
  • Frustration, anger or sadness
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Crying or laughing that doesn’t match the person’s mood
  • Crying or laughing inappropriately
  • Denial of the changes caused by the stroke

Usually the effects of a stroke are greatest immediately after the stroke occurs and in most cases, people get better. How fast and how much someone recovers depends on the extent of the brain injury and the success of rehabilitation.