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What are the effects of a massive stroke affecting the right hemisphere of the brain?

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Quick Answer

Survivors of a massive right-hemisphere stroke often suffer from full or partial paralysis of the left side of the body, according to the Brain Foundation. This is accompanied by other symptoms concerning spatial and perceptual abilities as well as behavioral problems brought on by these limited capabilities.

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Full Answer

Many survivors of this type of stroke have problems judging distances, meaning that even if they are still ambulatory, they are at high risk for falling. Some survivors cannot judge right-side-up from upside-down when trying to perform such ordinary tasks as reading, according to the Brain Foundation. Behaviorally, survivors also have issues judging the ability to perform tasks that they were able to perform before the stroke, creating added risks because their physical abilities have been severely curtailed. A condition known as "left-sided neglect" also means these survivors are often ignorant of people or actions on their left sides.

Additionally, many survivors have issues concentrating on tasks or conversations for extended periods, as reported by Allina Health. Anomia, the inability to recognize faces or pictures of loved ones or friends, is another consequence of this type of stroke. In some cases, survivors imagine that the paralyzed limbs of the left side of the body do not belong to them.

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