Monday, May 23, 2022

What Part Of The Brain Is Affected By A Stroke

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Unexpected Link Between Posture And Your Eyes

Aphasia Anatomy 101 (Parts of the brain affected by stroke)

As an infant, you learned about the relationship between your body parts through trial and errorreaching out and making contact. As a child, maybe you recited your facial features as fast as you could or sang a ditty to remember that your neck bone connects to your head bone.

Anatomical links affect more than the way you learnthey can change and, even, dictate your health. In this blog, youll discover the link between your posture, or how you stand, and your eyes.

Understanding the Link

To use the link between the position of your spine and your optic health to your advantage, you first must understand how the connection works.

Eyes to Brain

Your eyes represent a complex part of your central nervous system, connected directly to the brain. To see the way you do, your eyes accept light beams. These beams hit the photoreceptors, known as rods and cones, located in your retina at the back of your eyeball.

The signals the retina receives translate into electrical impulses, which travel on the optic nerve into the brains visual cortex.

Brain to Spine

When impulses reach the visual cortex, your brain interprets them and uses them to determine how the body should respond. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord to tell the rest of your body how to react to what the eyes see.

Eyes to Spine

Results of This Connection

Blurred vision or difficulty focusing the eyes Decreased circulation which causes numbness and muscle strength issues Eye strain or fatigue

It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

A stroke is loss of blood flow to part of the brain. It happens when a blood clot blocks an artery in the brain or when a bleed from a blood vessel in the head creates pressure in the brain.

In either case, brain cells die, and the brain is damaged temporarily or permanently. Depending on the area of brain deprived of oxygen, a person may experience loss of memory, movement, speech or other disabilities. If blood flow is restored or pressure is relieved quickly through medical treatment, the brain may fully recover.

Learn more as neurointerventionalist John Terry, MD, discusses What is a Stroke?

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

What is a stroke?

Stroke is among the top five causes of death and a leading reason for disability in Americans, according to the American Stroke Association. Close to 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year, and there are nearly seven million stroke survivors in the U.S.

If blood flow is restored or pressure is relieved quickly through medical treatment, the brain may fully recover.

How Is Stroke Diagnosed

A brain stem stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you have symptoms that indicate a stroke, your doctor will likely order imaging tests such as MRI scan, CT scan, Doppler ultrasound, or angiogram. Heart function testing may include electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. Additional diagnostic procedures may include blood tests, as well as kidney and liver function testing.

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What Part Of The Brain Controls Depth Perception

Specifically the part of the brain that does depth perception based on binocular vision. I have searched all over the web and have turned up nothing. Is it the same part of the brain that processes all images from the retina?

This Scientific American article states that there is a process involved:

Visual-image processing from the eye to the brain happens in stages. Rudimentary features such as the orientation of edges, direction of motion, color, and so on are extracted early on in areas called V1 and V2 before reaching the next stages in the visual-processing hierarchy for a progressively more refined analysis. This stage-by-stage description is a caricature many pathways go back from stage to stageallowing the brain to play a kind of 20-questions game to arrive at a solution after successive iterations.

This process is discussed further in this article with what is known as the Laminart model.

What Effects Can Be Seen With A Stroke In The Cerebrum


The cerebrum is the part of the brain that occupies the top and front portions of the skull. It controls movement and sensation, speech, thinking, reasoning, memory, vision, and emotions. The cerebrum is divided into the right and left sides, or hemispheres.

Depending on the area and side of the cerebrum affected by the stroke, any, or all, of these functions may be impaired:

  • Movement and sensation
  • Emotional control
  • Sexual ability

In addition to these general effects, some specific impairments may occur when a particular area of the cerebrum is damaged.

Stroke and Facial Paralysis: Maggies Story

Maggie Whittum suffered a life-threatening stroke that left half her face paralyzed, a devastating loss for a talented actress. Today, she’s back to performing.

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Carotid Angioplasty And Stenting

An alternative, newer form of treatment, carotid angioplasty and stenting , shows some promise in patients who may be at too high risk to undergo surgery. Carotid stenting is a neurointerventional procedure in which a tiny, slender metal-mesh tube is fitted inside the carotid artery to increase the flow of blood blocked by plaques. Access is gained through a small groin incision, but no incision is made in the neck. The stent is inserted following a procedure called angioplasty, in which the doctor guides a balloon-tipped catheter into the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated and pressed against the plaque, flattening it and reopening the artery. The stent acts as scaffolding to prevent the artery from collapsing or from closing up again after the procedure is completed.

There are several potential complications of endovascular treatment. The most serious risk from carotid stenting is an embolism caused by a disrupted plaque particle breaking free from the site. This can block an artery in the brain, causing a stroke. These risks are minimized using small filters called embolic protection devices in conjunction with angioplasty and stenting. There is also a slight risk of stroke due to a loose piece of plaque or a blood clot blocking an artery during or right after surgery. The risks are balanced against the advantages of a shorter occlusion time , shorter anesthesia and a small leg incision.

The Brain Stem Relays Signals Between The Brain And Spinal Cord And Manages Basic Involuntary Functions

The brain stem connects the spinal cord to the higher-thinking centers of the brain. It consists of three structures: the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the midbrain. The medulla oblongata is continuous with the spinal cord and connects to the pons above. Both the medulla and the pons are considered part of the hindbrain. The midbrain, or mesencephalon, connects the pons to the diencephalon and forebrain. Besides relaying sensory and motor signals, the structures of the brain stem direct involuntary functions. The pons helps control breathing rhythms. The medulla handles respiration, digestion, and circulation, and reflexes such as swallowing, coughing, and sneezing. The midbrain contributes to motor control, vision, and hearing, as well as vision- and hearing-related reflexes.

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Warning Symptoms Of Stroke

Because early treatment of stroke can help limit loss of function and sensation, everyone should know what the early symptoms of stroke are.

People who have any of the following symptoms should see a doctor immediately, even if the symptom goes away quickly:

  • Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the body

  • Sudden loss of sensation or abnormal sensations on one side of the body

  • Sudden difficulty speaking, including difficulty coming up with words and sometimes slurred speech

  • Sudden confusion, with difficulty understanding speech

  • Sudden dimness, blurring, or loss of vision, particularly in one eye

  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance and coordination, leading to falls

One or more of these symptoms are typically present in both hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. Symptoms of a transient ischemic attack are the same, but they usually disappear within minutes and rarely last more than 1 hour.

Symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke may also include the following:

  • Sudden severe headache

  • Temporary or persistent loss of consciousness

  • Very high blood pressure

The Effects Of Stroke On The Body

How Your Brain Is Affected With A Hemorrhagic Stroke

A stroke happens when blood carrying oxygen is unable to get to part of the brain. Brain cells get damaged and can die if left without oxygen even for a few minutes. A stroke requires immediate medical care, is potentially deadly, and can affect several parts of the body well after the event is over.

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Complications Of Brain Stem Stroke

A brain stem stroke can cause you to lose your sense of smell and taste.

Other rare complications include coma and locked-in syndrome. Locked-in syndrome is a condition in which your entire body, except for the eye muscles, is paralyzed. People are able to think and communicate through eye movements, such as blinking.

Prognosis Of Ischemic Stroke

The sooner a stroke is treated with a drug that breaks up blood clots , the less severe brain damage is likely to be and the better the chances for recovery.

During the first few days after an ischemic stroke, doctors usually cannot predict whether a person will improve or worsen. Younger people and people who start improving quickly are likely to recover more fully.

About 50% of people with one-sided paralysis and most of those with less severe symptoms recover some function by the time they leave the hospital, and they can eventually take care of their basic needs. They can think clearly and walk adequately, although use of the affected arm or leg may be limited. Use of an arm is more often limited than use of a leg.

About 10% of people who have an ischemic stroke recover all normal function.

Some people are physically and mentally devastated and unable to move, speak, or eat normally.

About 20% of people who have an ischemic stroke die in the hospital. The proportion is higher among older people. About 25% of people who recover from a first stroke have another stroke within 5 years. Subsequent strokes impair function further.

Most impairments still present after 12 months are permanent.

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Main Body Systems That Are Effected By A Stroke

NervousWhen the brain tissue is damaged, messages between the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system cannot be properly transmitted. A stroke may cause a patient to experience more pain than before and not fully understand sensations such as hot and cold.If the part of the brain that communicates vision is affected, a patient’s vision may experience partial or complete vision loss. Weakness or paralyzation of the front part of the foot is called foot drop. This is due to nerve damage which changes how the brain sends and receives messages. Figure 1 displays nerves transmitting to and from the brain to the whole body. A stroke interrupts the flow of nerves and therefore a patient will experience impaired abilities. Figure 1


A Range Of Neurological Vision Loss

stroke, brain regions, functions, frontal, parietal ...
  • visual field defects such as homonymous hemianopia, when one half of the visual field in each eye is missing
  • double vision where a single object is seen as two and cannot be merged together
  • fluctuating vision this means the impairment is variable, for example, the person may be able to see something one day, but not the next
  • visual acuity problems reduced clarity of vision
  • eye movement problems for example, jittery eye movements or the tendency of the eyes to flicker around when the person is trying to look steadily at something
  • strabismus the eyes are not aligned for example, it may turn inwards or outwards.

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Stroke Definition And Facts

  • A stroke occurs when part of the brain loses its blood supply and stops working. This causes the part of the body that the injured brain controls to stop working.
  • A stroke also is called a cerebrovascular accident, CVA, or “brain attack.”
  • The types of strokes include:
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Hemorrhagic stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack, TIA, or mini-stroke
  • A stroke is a medical emergency. The affected individual, family, friends, or bystanders need to call 9-1-1 to access emergency care.
  • From the onset of symptoms, there is only a 3 to 4 1/2 hour window to use clot-busting drugs to try to restore blood supply to the affected part of the brain.
  • Remember FASTif you think someone might be having a stroke:
  • Face drooping
  • Time to call 9-1-1
  • Causes of strokes include ischemia or hemorrhage in the brain.
  • People at risk for stroke include those who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and those who smoke. People with heart rhythm disturbances, especially atrial fibrillation are also at risk.
  • Stroke is diagnosed by the patient’s symptoms, history, and blood and imaging tests.
  • Depending on the situation, including the patients neurologic examination and severity of the stroke, mechanical thrombectomy to remove a blood clot within a brain artery may occur up to 24 hours after the onset of symptoms. This procedure is not available at all hospitals and is not appropriate for all stroke patients.
  • What Are The Risk Factors For Stroke

    Heart conditions like atrial fibrillation, patent foramen ovale , and heart valve disease can also be the potential cause of stroke.

    When a stroke occurs in younger individuals , less common risk factors to be considered include illicit drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines, ruptured aneurysms, and inherited predispositions to abnormal blood clotting.

    An example of a genetic predisposition to stroke occurs in a rare condition called homocystinuria, in which there are excessive levels of the chemical homocystine in the body. Scientists are trying to determine whether the non-hereditary occurrence of high levels of homocystine at any age can predispose to stroke.

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    Recovering From Cerebellar Stroke

    The most common secondary effects of a cerebellar stroke involve loss of balance and ataxia of speech. Fortunately, regular physical therapy and speech therapy, respectively, can help patients recover from these side effects.

    Experts are not sure about theextent to which cerebellar stroke patients can recover. However, the brain iscapable of amazing things. When the cerebellum becomes damaged, recovery ispossible through the phenomenon of neuroplasticity.

    Neuroplasticity requires massedpractice to get started and keep going. Inpatient therapy is not enough to helppatients maximize their potential. Instead, a motivating at-home therapyregimen should be pursued for optimal results.

    Left Brain Vs Right Brain Stroke

    Brain Lobes and Effects of Stroke

    The brain is a very complex organ consisting of many different lobes and folds, each area responsible for a specific function or ability. A stroke that occurs in one area of the brain may affect the body differently than one that occurs in another area. The three main components of the brain are the brainstem, cerebellum, and cerebrum. Since the brainstem is responsible for involuntary processes like breathing and heart rate, a stroke in the brainstem is often life-threatening. The cerebellum coordinates voluntary motor movements like coordination, balance, and speech. However, it is not very common for strokes to occur in either the brainstem or cerebellum. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and is composed of the right and left hemispheres. It is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as interpreting sensory information and speech, along with reasoning, emotions, learning, and fine control of motor movements. Most ischemic strokes affect the cerebrum and can be divided into the categories of left brain stroke and right brain stroke.

    What Does Each Side of the Brain Control?

    Although every stroke is unique, they tend to affect people in similar ways based on which side of the brain it affects. Each side of the brain is responsible for controlling different parts of the body as well as different tasks.

    The Left Brain Controls:

    • Facial weakness or problems swallowing
    • Memory loss

    Does Recovery Differ Between the Two Sides of the Brain?

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    Who Is At Risk For A Stroke

    Certain factors can raise your risk of a stroke. The major risk factors include

    • High blood pressure. This is the primary risk factor for a stroke.
    • Heart diseases.Atrial fibrillation and other heart diseases can cause blood clots that lead to stroke.
    • Smoking. When you smoke, you damage your blood vessels and raise your blood pressure.
    • A personal or family history of stroke or TIA.
    • Age. Your risk of stroke increases as you get older.
    • Race and ethnicity. African Americans have a higher risk of stroke.

    There are also other factors that are linked to a higher risk of stroke, such as

    • Alcohol and illegal drug use
    • Not getting enough physical activity

    What Causes Strokes

    Most strokes are caused by a thickening or narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the brain.

    Our arteries tend to harden, narrow and weaken as we get older however there are some groups of people who are at an increased risk. These include people with high blood pressure, people with high cholesterol, people with heart disease or diabetes , people who smoke, people with a high alcohol intake and people who do not exercise regularly.

    Stroke is also more common in South Asian, African and Caribbean communities, partly because diabetes and high blood pressure is also more common in these groups.

    Ischaemic strokes are caused by blockages in one of the arteries supplying the brain. Clots can form in these arteries themselves or form in a blood vessel elsewhere in the body and travel to the brain. Clots commonly form where arteries have narrowed due to a build-up of fatty deposits on their inner walls. The narrowing or furring of the arteries is called atherosclerosis.

    Although stroke affects the brain and not the heart, people with an irregular heartbeat are at an increased risk. An irregular heartbeat can cause blood clots which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.

    Haemorrhagic strokes are caused by one of the blood vessels supplying the brain bursting and causing a bleed. The most common cause is high blood pressure which damages and weakens the arteries making them more likely to tear.

    Further information can be found in our booklet Subarachnoid haemorrhage.

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