The brain consists of 12 nerves that are responsible for vision, smell, taste, balance, digestion, heart rate and many other key voluntary and involuntary movements in the body. Once damaged, these nerves can be very difficult to restore to their prime functions. Some of the things that affect and damage the nerves can range from blunt force trauma from an accident or something naturally occuring in the body. A stroke can occur in different parts of the brain, and sufficiently affects different parts of the brain afterwards. A stroke can affect the way different nerve cells communicate with other cells in the body. As a result, vision, movement and sensation can all be greatly affected. 

According to the CDC, “Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke”. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is insufficient or completely blocked to where the brain tissue is not able to receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Brain cells die within minutes of the stroke. A stroke can cause nerve damage affecting the sense of touch, vision, and hearing. Central neuropathy is a common condition that occurs after a stroke. According to the Lancet, “this syndrome is characterized by pain and sensory abnormalities in the body parts that correspond to the brain territory that has been injured by the cerebrovascular region.” Some of the side effects of central neuropathy include pain, tingling, weakness and even paralysis. The treatments can vary depending upon severity and location and include physical therapy, spinal cord stimulation, scrambler therapy and medications. The damage after the stroke is either central or cranial. Cranial neuropathy is what affects the central nervous system. It occurs when the sixth cranial nerve, the abducens, is damaged.

There are three different types of strokes, ischemic strokes, transient ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. A transient ischemic stroke is like a warning stroke. It occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain, but the effects only last about an hour. An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. It occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain tissue. Typically, the blockage is due to a blood clot stuck in a narrow blood vessel. A hemorrhagic stroke is due to a ruptured blood vessel in the brain or high blood pressure causing an aneurysm. This type of stroke causes bleeding in the brain. 

According to Hopkins medical center, there are three main sections of the brain and a stroke can impact them all differently. The cerebrum, cerebellum and the brainstem. A stroke in the brainstem can cause abnormalities in breathing and heart rate functions, vision, speaking, chewing and swallowing, and body temperature regulation. A stroke in the cerebellum can cause dizziness, headache, coordination and balance problems and nausea. As for the cerebrum, dependent upon which hemisphere the stroke occurs, it can have alternating effects. A stroke in the right hemisphere can cause the left side of the body to be weak or paralyzed, memory problems or loss, behavioral changes, left side vision problems, and intellectual inability like reading maps. As for the left hemisphere, it can impact right sided weakness and paralysis, impaired ability to read, write, do math, understand language and right side vision impairment. 

In conclusion, strokes have varying severity and its recovery is based upon how bad it was. According to sciencedirect “Approximately 65% of the hospitalized stroke survivors with initial motor deficits of the lower extremity showed some degree of motor recovery…In the case of paralysis, complete motor recovery occurred in less than 15% of the patients”. Strokes can be caused by many different events but ultimately result in damaged nerves in the brain.

Motor recovery after stroke: A systematic review of the literature – ScienceDirect

Stroke Facts |

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Stroke and transient ischaemic attacks. – PMC (