When a stroke occurs on the left side of the brain, the right side of the body is affected. The reverse is also true — when a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, the left side of the body is affected. That’s the basic gist of it. However, there is more to it than that.
A stroke on the right side of the brain can cause paralysis in the left side of the body, it can also incur vision problems, memory loss, and spatial imbalance. To add to that, the right hemisphere of the brain also controls your creativity and your emotions. Thus, any damage to it can affect your behavior and ability to think quickly.
The Two Hemispheres
There are some who believe that the world is separated by those who are “right-brained” and “left-brained.” Left-brained people are described to be very analytic and detail-oriented, whilst right-brained people are described as more creative and free-thinking.
This belief stems from the fact that the brain is split cleanly into two hemispheres — with both hemispheres in charge of different aspects of the personality, physical capabilities, mental capabilities, and behavior of humans.
The Right Hemisphere of the Brain
Depending on what part of your brain has been affected, different facets of your behavior, physical abilities, personality, etc. will be affected. For the right side of the brain, the most common side-effects after a stroke are as follows:
- Hemiplegia: This is the name for the condition that causes paralysis or impaired mobility of just one side of the body.
- Hemineglect: Along with physical weakness, stroke patients may also suffer from hemineglect — which is when stroke patients forget or become unaware of one side of their body (a right-brain stroke will affect the left side.)
- Emotional Lability: People who incur a stroke on the right side of the brain may also have a difficult time controlling their emotions, and may react strangely (crying when they’re happy, or laughing when their sad, etc.)
- Prosopagnosia: This is another common side-effect with right hemisphere strokes. It affects the person’s ability to recognize faces (even those that are closest to them.)
- Hemianopia: This is a condition marked by a loss of vision on the opposite side (right-brain stroke will cause loss of vision on the left eye.)
A stroke can differ a lot based on its size and positioning. That is how the after-effects of one stroke can be completely different from the other (even if they are very similar.) Either way, however, treatment in the form of medication and rehabilitation is available — no matter what side of the brain is affected.