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What Stroke Means

An Overview of The Brain and How It Works

The brain is the control center for the body. It manages functions such as breathing, swallowing, moving and seeing. Thus, a stroke can affect almost any function of the body.

Just as important, the brain also controls thinking, emotions and behavior. As a result, a stroke can sometimes change aspects of a person’s personality.

For the most part, different parts of the brain control different functions. For instance, in most people, the ability to use language is controlled by the left side of the brain or hemisphere, so damage to this area will cause difficulty in understanding and/or producing language.However, functions often overlap in the brain, so that more than one location controls an ability.

Stroke often affects many parts of the brain rather than just a single region. As a result, the effects of a stroke may not always be clearly defined.

 

FRONTAL LOBE

• Cognitive functions
  –Problem-solving
  –Judgment
  –Inhibition of behavior
  –Self-monitoring
  –Personality/Emotions
  –Awareness of abilities/ Limitations
  –Organization
  –Attention/Concentration
  –Mental flexibility
• Initiation
• Planning/Anticipation
• Motor planning
• Speaking (expressive language)

TEMPORAL LOBE

• Speech
• Hearing
• Memory
• Understanding language

(receptive language)
• Organization and sequencing

BRAIN STEM

• Automatic nervous system
  –Heart rate
  –Breathing
  –Blood pressure
• Level of alertness
• Sleep/Wake functions
• Attention/Concentration
• Swallowing

CEREBELLUM

• Coordination of voluntary movement
• Balance and equilibrium brain stem

• Skilled motor activity

OCCIPLITAL LOBE

• Vision
• Reading
  –Perception
  –Recognition

PARIETAL LOBE

• Sense of touch
• Spatial and visual perception
• Math ability