What an Ischemic Stroke Does to the Brain

When a person in New Mexico has an ischemic stroke, immediate medical attention is essential to prevent permanent damage. The longer a person goes without help, the more the brain will be affected. According to WebMD, stroke is caused by a blockage of the blood supply to the brain, often due to a blood clot. Because the blood carries life-sustaining oxygen, cells sustain damage four minutes or so after the artery becomes blocked, and they may then begin to die. As a result, about half of stroke survivors suffer disabilities that last at least six months after the event.

The American Stroke Association explains that stroke can affect different areas of the body based on which part of the brain has been injured. The left and right portions of the brain each control opposite sides of the body, as well as different functions. Behavioral changes are typical regardless of where the obstruction occurs.

When the blockage destroys cells on the left side of the brain, a person may become paralyzed on the right side. The left brain is also instrumental in retrieving memories, so the victim of a stroke may lose the ability to recall these. Language, including interpreting and speaking it, is a task primarily performed by the left side, so speech may be affected, or a person may lose the ability to communicate altogether.

The right side of the brain is associated with other aspects of memory, and vision problems may also develop after damage to the right side. A person may have impaired eyesight after a blockage in the back area, too. Brain stem damage may cause paralysis from the neck down. 

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