A stroke is also known as a Cerebrovascular Accident, hence the abbreviation CVA.
Cerebral – relating to the brain
Vascular – the blood vessels
Accident – the stroke event
So, a CVA is a blood vessel accident in the brain, or a BRAIN ATTACK.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is an injury to the brain. It is caused by a change in the blood supply to the brain. Brain cells must have a constant supply of oxygen, which is delivered by the blood. Without a good source of blood, brain cells do not get oxygen. Without enough oxygen, brain cells die or are damaged. The brain is the control center of the body. If the cells are damaged from a lack of oxygen, body functions are affected. Every stroke is different. No two stroke survivors have the same problems.
What causes strokes?
Blood Clot (cerebral thrombosis)
Traveling Blood Clot (cerebral embolism)
Bleeding in the Brain (cerebral hemorrhage)
The 4 Lobes of the Brain and their Functions:
- Frontal Lobe – the center for speech, emotional control, motivation, problem solving, reasoning, insight, movement and behavior.
- Temporal Lobe – The center for hearing, memory, organization, and musical awareness.
- Parietal Lobe – Takes in, understands and uses information from the environment.
- Occipital Lobe – Center for vision and recognition of things seen before (people and objects).
Types of Strokes
- Left Brain Stroke
- Right Brain Stroke
- Brainstem Stroke
How does a Left Brain Stroke Affect the Body?
The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body.
A stroke on the left side of the brain can cause problems in:
- Knows what he/she wants to say, but cannot get the words out
- Cannot express thoughts into written form
- Incorrect use of yes/no
- Speech is difficult to understand
- Slurred speech
- Trouble pronouncing words correctly
- Tendency to use words that do not make sense, appear to be made up
- Cannot name objects but understands how to use them
- Repeats words or phrase over and over (preservation)
- Has a weak voice, sounds hoarse
- Paralysis or weakness on the right side of the body
- Poor balance
- Poor coordination
- Loss of ability to plan how to move
- Eye-hand coordination
- Swallowing (Dysphagia)
- Vision and Touch
- Increased sensitivity to touch
- Decreased or loss of feeling on the right side of the body
- Ignoring items on the right side of the body (right side neglect)
- Tunnel vision
- Double/Blurred vision
- Trouble judging how far away something is
- Trouble with math
- Problems telling left from right
- Disorganized thoughts
- Trouble recognizing objects and faces
- Problems planning and starting a task
- Gets frustrated easily
- Cries or laughs at wrong times
- Shows lack of interest
- Has trouble starting a task
- Underestimates ability
- Is cautious and slow
Helpful suggestions for talking to a person with a Left Brain Stroke:
- Give the person time to think and form thoughts
- Keep questions and comments simple
- Divide jobs into simple steps
- Give lots of feedback and encouragement
- Point out progress
- Treat the person as an adult
- Remember the person may act as if he/she knows what’s going on to avoid embarrassment. Find out if the person really understands
- Use visual aids
- Speak slowly
- Use sentences that are short and to the point