A stroke occurs when the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain is stopped or interrupted. This happens because of a burst (ruptured) or blocked blood vessel.
A stroke can cause serious disability and can be life-threatening.
Nerve cells in the brain (neurons) send signals to the rest of your body. These signals control your speech, movement, thinking process and senses (hearing, sight and touch).
The part of your brain affected by a stroke determines how your body is affected.
The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body. Usually, the right side of your brain controls the ability to pay attention, be aware of your own body, or recognize things you see, hear or touch.
The left side of your brain controls the right side of your body. Usually, the left side of your brain controls the way you talk and understand speech.
The base of your brain (brainstem) is connected to your spinal cord. The brainstem controls specialized functions, including:
Allina Health Patient Education, Understanding Stroke, fifth edition, neuro-ahc-90662
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