Dr. Ajaya N Jha
nstitute of Neurosciences
A stroke can sometimes cause temporary or permanent disabilities, depending on how long the brain suffers a lack of blood flow and which part was affected. Complications may include:
Sometimes a lack of blood flow to the brain can cause paralysis on either side of the body or lose control of certain muscles, such as those on one side of your face or one arm. This can cause difficulty with several daily activities, including walking, eating and dressing. With physical therapy, you may see improvement in muscle movement or paralysis.
A stroke may cause you to have less control over the way the muscles in your mouth and throat move, making it difficult for you to talk, swallow or eat. For example, some people may experience slurred speech (dysarthria), due to in coordination of muscles in your mouth. You also may have difficulty with language (aphasia), including speaking or understanding speech, reading or writing. Therapy with a speech and language pathologist may help you improve your skills.
Many people who have had strokes experience some memory loss. Others may have difficulty thinking, making judgments, reasoning and understanding concepts. These complications may improve with rehabilitation therapies.
People who have had strokes may have more difficulty controlling their emotions or they may develop depression.
Some people who have had strokes may have pain, numbness or other strange sensations in parts of their bodies affected by stroke. For example, if a stroke causes you to lose feeling in your left arm, you may develop an uncomfortable tingling sensation in that arm. Some people may be sensitive to temperature changes, especially extreme cold. This is called central stroke pain or central pain syndrome (CPS). This complication generally develops several weeks after a stroke and it may improve over time. But because the pain is caused by a problem in your brain, instead of a physical injury, few medications may treat CPS.
People who have had strokes may become more withdrawn and less social or more impulsive. They may lose the ability to care for them and may need a caretaker to help them with their grooming needs and daily chores.
As with any brain injury, the success of treating these complications will vary from person to person.
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