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Common Stroke Terms

AGITATION

Being uncontrollably restless, upset or overly excited by things going on inside of you or around you.

AROUSAL

The change from a state of sleep to one of being awake.

ASPIRATION

When food or liquid goes into the lungs instead of the stomach.

APHASIA

The inability to find or understand words or language.

APRAXIA

The inability or slowed ability to get a message from the brain to the muscle.

ATAXIA

Loss of ability to coordinate movement.

ATTENTION

The ability to focus your mind on a given activity.

AWARENESS

Understanding the problems you are having because of the stroke.

COGNITION

Thinking or mental activity.

CONFABULATION

Making something up that is not true, often to compensate for not
remembering.

DISTRACTIBILITY

The inability to hold attention on an activity.

DYSARTHRIA

Speech that does not sound normal or is hard to understand due to a weakness of
the muscles of the lips, mouth or tongue.

DYSPHAGIA

Difficulty with chewing or swallowing food or liquid.

HEMIANOPSIA/

FIELD CUT

Inability to see to one side or tunnel-like vision.

HEMIPARESIS

Weakness on one side of the body.

HEMIPLEGIA

Paralysis on one side of the body.

IMPULSIVENESS

Doing or saying something too quickly, often leading to errors and difficulties.

INSIGHT/

JUDGMENT

The ability to know the dangers of certain activities and to make the right
decisions.

INITIATION

The ability to begin an activity.

LABILITY/LABILE

The inability to control one’s emotions. More easily laughs or cries, for example.

MEMORY

Remembering and learning new things. This includes remembering what you do,
remembering what others say to you and remembering what you see and read.

NEGLECT

The inability to pay attention to one side of the body, due to lack of sensation or field
cut, for example.

ORGANIZATION

The ability to arrange your thoughts to make them sound sensible and orderly.

ORIENTATION

A sense of what is going on around you. This includes knowing the day, date,
month and year; knowing things about yourself; knowing where you are and how to get around;
and knowing what happened to you.

PERSEVERATION

The inability to turn your attention from one thought to another. Repeating
things or activities.

PRAGMATICS

The behaviors behind what you say or communicate, such as eye contact, gestures
and facial expression.

PROBLEM SOLVING

The ability to recognize when there is a problem and decide the best ways
to correct it.

PROPRIOCEPTION

The ability to tell where the body or limbs are in space.

SENSATION

Ability to feel pressure, light touch, sharp, and hot or cold.

T.I.A.

Transient Ischemic Attack; “mini stroke” symptoms, which usually go away in minutes to
hours, are a precursor to stroke.

TONE

Abnormal resistance to the movement of the involved arm, leg or both.