Areas of the Brain Affected by Stroke
When a stroke occurs, normal functional areas of the brain can be affected or even damaged leading to motor and cognitive impairments. Rehabilitation becomes crucial through tailored therapies to help patients and find ways to cope.
What is Stroke?
A stroke can happen when the brain does not get enough blood or when there is sudden bleeding in the brain. There are two kinds of strokes: ischemic and hemorrhagic. Strokes can cause irreversible damage if not treated quickly, so time is important when treating a stroke victim.
Stroke victims experience neurological deficits. As a result, rehabilitation is important to relearn lost functions and in designing a plan to help patients’ cope with the loss of functions. In this article, we’ll go over some important areas of the brain, the terms, and hopefully guide you on your healing journey in choosing the right doctor.
First, let’s define some terms.
The Right vs. Left Side of the Brain
The Right Hemisphere
The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for:
- Image processing
- Spatial thinking
- Movement in the left side of the body
- Problem solving
The Left Hemisphere
The left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body and is responsible for:
- Linear thinking
- Thinking in words
An ischemic stroke is a stroke that happens when the brain does not get enough blood. The brain cannot get oxygen and nutrients from the blood. If brain cells do not get enough oxygen and nutrients, they start to die within minutes.
A hemorrhagic stroke is a type of stroke that is caused by sudden bleeding in the brain. When blood leaks out, it puts pressure on brain cells, which in turn damages them.
Atherosclerosis and Thrombus in Stroke
Atherosclerosis is a buildup of plaque within the walls of the arteries. This plaque can narrow the arteries, which can block blood flow. Atherosclerosis is a risk factor for ischemic stroke.
A thrombus is a blood clot that forms in a blood vessel. Atherosclerotic plaque can lead to a thrombus formation, which in turn can lead to a stroke.
Understanding the Two Sides of the Brain
The left and right sides of the brain connect via nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. The brain halves are able to communicate with each other via this ‘bridge’. A stroke on the right side of the brain can cause weakness on the left side of the body.
A stroke on the left side of the brain can cause weakness on the right side of the body. Also, depending on the area of the brain that is damaged, it can impair speech, restricted physical abilities, difficulty gripping or holding things, and a slowed ability to communicate.
Normal Functional Areas of the Brain
- Frontal Lobe
The frontal lobes sit at the top front of the brain and are the largest lobes in the brain and they are important for voluntary movement, personality, and for managing higher level executive functions such as concentration, organization, and problem solving.
- Broca’s Area
Broca’s area is a region in the frontal lobe of the brain that is associated with speech production and comprehension.
- Temporal Lobe
The temporal lobes sit behind the ears and are the second largest lobe. They are most commonly associated with processing auditory information and with the encoding of memory for hearing and vision.
- Brain Stem
The brain stem is the stalk-like part of the brain that connects the brain to the spinal cord. It’s located at the base of the brain and is part of the central nervous system. It is responsible for regulating most of the body’s automatic functions, including breathing and heartbeat. Not only does it control heart rate and breathing rate, it also regulates temperature, cardiac function, respiratory function, and consciousness.
- Motor Strip
The motor strip, or primary motor cortex, is a strip of brain tissue in the frontal lobe. It’s responsible for initiating voluntary movements, such as moving your hands, arms, and legs, controlling facial expressions, and swallowing.
- Sensory Strip
The sensory strip is a band of neurons in the brain that registers sensations from specific body parts or functions. It’s located in the parietal lobe, near the border of the frontal lobe.
- Parietal Lobe
The parietal lobe is located in the upper back of the skull, just under the parietal bone. The parietal lobe processes sensory information from the outside world, including touch, pain, taste, and temperature while understanding speech and expressive language through thoughts.
- Wernicke’s Area
The Wernicke’s area of the brain is involved in comprehending and interpreting speech .
- Occipital Lobe
The occipital lobe is the part of the brain that processes and recognizes visual signals and focuses the eyes. It is located at the back of the head and is the smallest lobe of the brain.
The cerebellum is responsible for balance and coordinating voluntary movements, including:
- Eye movement
Common Neurological Deficits After Stroke
Johns Hopkins lists some effects of strokes depending on the area of the brain that is damaged. Here are some common deficits according to the location of the stroke:
1. Left-sided Stroke
- Right-sided weakness or paralysis and sensory impairment
- Problems with speech and understanding language (aphasia)
- Visual problems, including the inability to see the right visual field of each eye
- Impaired ability to do math or to organize, reason, and analyze items
- Slow and cautious behavior
- Memory loss in language
2. Right-sided Stroke
- Left-sided weakness or paralysis and sensory impairment. Visual problems, including an inability to see the left visual field of each eye
- Spatial problems with depth perception or directions, such as up or down and front or back
- Inability to localize or recognize body parts
- Inability to understand maps and find objects, such as clothing or toiletry items
- Memory problems such as loss in performance
- Behavioral changes, such as lack of concern about situations, impulsivity, inappropriateness, and depression
Strokes can affect every aspect of life, including speech, movement, coordination, and communication. Therefore, it’s important to find a stroke doctor who specializes in treating a variety of deficits such as our stroke specialist in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja. Contact us today to begin your healing journey with our caring and compassionate expert.
Read our “Stroke Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment: A Complete Guide” blog post to stay informed about the types of stroke, symptoms, screening, diagnosis, treatment options, stroke management, and more.
Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore
Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. It’s important to find a doctor you can trust when dealing with the effects of stroke. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation. Arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our stroke specialist.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH) and Hemorrhagic Stroke
Not all stroke happen because of a blood clot. A subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) can put someone at risk of a stroke.
We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management
Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.
Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available.
Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs
Brain Aneurysm Resources
Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.
Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar
Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.
Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.
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