Effects of Stroke

Understanding the Effects of Stroke
Because different areas of the brain control different functions, the location of a stroke determines which body functions are lost or damaged.

Left side of the brain—language skills, number skills, writing skills, and physical use of the right side of the body

Right side of the brain—spatial orientation, creativity, music skills, art skills, and physical use of the left side of the body

Cerebellum (back of the brain)—balance, coordination, and reflexes

Brain stem—involuntary body functions such as breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, hearing, eye movements, and swallowing

When it comes to stroke, the time of onset is critical. The longer the clot or bleeding continues to disturb brain function, the greater the long-term damage.

Effects on Communication
A stroke can make it difficult or impossible to understand or express things, either temporarily or over the long term. A stroke survivor may have slurred speech or impaired language skills, a condition called aphasia. One side of the face may also droop, limiting the ability to communicate with facial expressions.

The Emotional Effects

A stroke can bring about many different negative emotions—sadness, grief or anger over lost abilities, anxiety, depression, and even humiliation. Caregivers may also share those same feelings. One-on-one counseling with a behavioral health specialist and group therapy can help alleviate some of the negative feelings.

Learn more about ThedaCare’s Behavioral Health Specialists

Effects on Mobility
Because one side of the body is often more affected than the other, it is common to lose the function of the arm and leg on the damaged side. A stroke survivor may have difficulty walking, gesturing, and lifting or grasping things.

During stroke recovery, you have access to many types of rehabilitation to help you regain function.

Learn more about rehabilitation