Dr. Alireza Minagar Explains the Effects of a Stroke on Your Nervous System
Most people know that strokes occur in the brain, but what’s not as commonly known is how the stroke affects your nervous system at large and what survivors can expect moving forward.
Essentially, a stroke occurs when blood carrying oxygen is unable to get to part of the brain. The brain does not store oxygen, so it relies on a network of blood vessels to continually supply it. When a stroke occurs, this means that the brain has not received adequate oxygen, and when tissue doesn’t receive the nutrients its needs, it begins to die. Dr Alireza Minagar is a passionate professor at the LSU Health Sciences Center and published author of numerous scientific articles and textbooks on neurology, he graciously took the time to explain the effects of a stroke on your nervous system. According to Dr. Alireza Minagar, the answer as to how a stroke impacts your nervous system isn’t simple, as strokes can be categorized by type and magnitude.
What a Stroke Does to the Nervous System
Your brain is the control center of your nervous system, it’s responsible for sending impulses to the rest of your body, from your movements to your speech and more. When the brain becomes damaged, it may be unable to send clear messages to the rest of your body, and since strokes occur in the brain the nervous system is usually a top concern.
Dr. Alireza Minagar states that the effects on the nervous system are usually determined by which areas of the brain were impacted by the stroke. He elaborates to explain that damage that occurs in the front part of the brain will likely affect movement, thinking, logic, and personality.
Brain damage in the right side will result in memory or focus issues, loss of attention span, or trouble recognizing faces or objects, even if they’re familiar. There may also be changes in behavior, such as increased impulsiveness or depression. Damage to the left side of the brain may result in memory problems and difficulty speaking or understanding language.
Pain is one of the most notable factors after a stroke. Activities that didn’t cause pain prior to your stroke, may now be more difficult to manage because your brain isn’t properly processing the responses (e.g. hot and cold sensations.).
Changes in vision are common after a stroke if the affected parts of the brain control the eyes. Dr. Alireza Minagar explains that the stroke may cause loss of vision or a lower field of vision, as well as difficulty moving the eyes, which is caused because the nerves from each eye travel in the brain.
Finding Hope After a Stroke
Strokes don’t always result in death, but they are the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States.
If you find yourself or a loved one struggling after a stroke, there are some things you can do to help adjust. Rehabilitation is a primary necessity for those who suffered from a stroke and is widely considered the go-to option for stroke recovery. Dr. Alireza Minagar states that rehabilitation may include speech therapy for those who have trouble speaking or understanding speech; physical therapy to help you relearn movements or coordination; or occupational therapy to help with everyday tasks like eating, dressing, writing, and bathing.
Dr. Alireza Minagar’s Final Thoughts
One in four stroke survivors will have another stroke within five years. It’s essential to work with your doctor to treat the underlying cause of the stroke to prevent re-occurrence and live the best quality of life possible.