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Effects of right-sided stroke

  • Stroke usually affects one side of the brain. Movement and sensation for one side of the body is controlled by the opposite side of the brain.

    Some problems that happen after stroke are more common with stroke on one side of the brain than the other.

    • The right side of the brain controls the ability to pay attention, recognize things you see, hear or touch, and be aware of your own body.
    • In most people, the left side of the brain controls the ability to speak and understand language.

    In some left-handed people, language is controlled by the right side of the brain and awareness by the left side of the brain.

    If your stroke affected the right side of your brain, you will have problems with the left side of your body.


    You may not recognize faces or pictures of familiar people or objects.

    Attention span

    You may be unable to focus attention on a conversation or tasks for long periods of time.


    You may deny that you had a stroke. Some people even deny that their paralyzed arm or leg belongs to them. They look at the paralyzed arm or leg and believe it belongs to someone else.


    You may ignore the left side of your body or your environment. This means you may not turn to look toward your left side or you may not recognize things that are on your left.


    You may have difficulty following instructions or answering many questions asked one right after the other. You may repeat answers or movement even though a new instruction was given or a new question asked.

    Visual / spatial problems

    You may have problems judging distance, size, position and rate of movement and how parts relate to a whole.

  • Source: Allina Patient Education, Understanding Stroke: Information about Stroke and Recovery, fourth edition, ISBN 1-931876-13-4
    Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts
    First published: 02/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 12/09/2011