Stroke: Common Disabilities - Topic Overview

Stroke is the most common cause of disability resulting from damage to the nervous system. A stroke may affect:

  • Movement. You may not be able to use your arms or walk. This is usually because of weakness or paralysis on one side of the body (hemiparesis).
  • Speech and language. You may not be able to speak, read, or write. Also, you may not be able to understand what someone else is saying.
  • Thinking and reasoning. You may not be able to think clearly. The stroke may cause you to act differently than you did before the stroke.
  • Senses. You may not be able to feel when something or someone touches your affected body parts, such as the arms or legs. Your sight or hearing may be affected (rare).
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