What Effects Do Strokes Have on Different Brain Regions?

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Strokes impact multiple brain regions that govern many cognitive processes, ranging from motor skills to memory consolidation. When recuperating from a stroke, the ability to recover is contingent on which brain regions were damaged and the severity of the damage. Ahead, learn about the brain regions commonly impacted by strokes.

Brain Stem

The brain stem is responsible for the body’s essential life-supporting processes. It maintains blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory function, and digestion. Because of the brain stem’s importance, strokes that cause severe damage to this area are often fatal. People who survive strokes that impact the brain stem often need artificial life support to regulate basic functions. Damage to the brain stem can also put seniors in comas, as the area helps them maintain consciousness. 

Stroke survivors who recover at home often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Limbic System

Strokes don’t usually damage the limbic system, the group of nerves and neural networks located near the cortex. This system governs instinct and mood, and it also regulates emotions, such as fear and pleasure, as well as drives, such as hunger and sexual desire. When a stroke damages this area, an individual’s personality can be altered. Seniors may not be able to regulate their emotions, which can lead to uninhibited behavior.


When a stroke damages the cerebellum, mobility can be affected because the cerebellum helps the body navigate the world. It’s responsible for posture, coordination, balance, and more. Cerebellum damage can result in muscle control problems and general clumsiness. If the cerebellum doesn’t recover after a stroke, long-term damage to mobility can occur. Thankfully, it’s relatively rare for a stroke to damage the cerebellum. 

The effects of a stroke can make it difficult for seniors to live at home safely without always having caregivers close by. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Clearwater, FL, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.


While strokes can impact the cerebellum, limbic system, and brain stem, they most commonly affect parts of the cerebrum. This area, which is the uppermost brain region, contains the cerebral cortex as well as important subcortical structures. 

The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain often referred to as “gray matter.” Divided into two hemispheres, this outer layer integrates sensory stimuli and acts as the center of conscious thought. Because the cerebral cortex performs such a diverse range of functions, stroke-related damage is similarly diverse. Each hemisphere contains four lobes, and the potential damage is as follows: 

  • Frontal lobe – Located at the front of the brain, this lobe controls motor function and language. If a stroke damages this lobe, it can lead to muscle weakness, paralysis, and aphasia. 
  • Parietal lobe – Just behind the frontal lobe is the parietal lobe, which analyzes sensory information sent to the brain from the body. If this area is damaged, a senior may experience numbness, vision impairment, and other sensory issues. 
  • Temporal lobe – This lobe is located at ear level and positioned beneath the frontal and parietal lobes. Stroke damage to the area can cause memory loss and aphasia. 
  • Occipital lobe – Situated at the back of the brain is the occipital lobe, which is responsible for analyzing visual data it receives via the optic nerve. If this lobe is damaged, it can impact the ability to interpret visual information. 

A senior stroke survivor often needs very specialized care from someone with experience in providing support during stroke recovery. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Clearwater Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need professional home care for your aging loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (727) 330-7862.

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