How does a stroke affect the body?

A stroke damages brain cells so they can no longer work properly. As a result, the areas of the body that the brain controls are also affected. The brain is like a computer, sending messages around the body to enable it to function. It is made up of two halves; the left and right hemisphere.
Each part of your brain has a specific job to do. In general, the right half of your brain controls the left side of your body and vice versa. For example, if you have a stroke and your right arm and leg are weak, then the stroke will have damaged the motor area in the left side of your brain. Specific areas of your brain also control your ability to move, speak and write. Other areas control your memory, emotions and vision.

What influences the effect of a stroke on the body?

In general, the effects of a stroke will depend on the following issues:
  • Which part of your brain has been injured
  • How big an area of the brain was damaged
  • Your general health when the stroke happened