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Stroke: Behavior Changes - Topic Overview

Depending on what part of the brain was affected by a stroke, the way a person acts may be different from how he or she acted before the stroke.

A person who was very concerned about details before a stroke may become sloppy and care little about personal appearance after a stroke. Because these problems may be annoying, it is easy to think that there is an emotional or psychological problem. In some cases, that may be true. But also consider:

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Understanding Stroke -- the Basics

When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or blocked for any reason, the consequences are usually dramatic. Control over movement, perception, speech, or other mental or bodily functions is impaired, and consciousness itself may be lost. Disruptions of blood circulation to the brain may result in a stroke -- a disorder that occurs in two basic forms, both potentially life-threatening. Clots near the brain. About three-quarters of all strokes are due to blockage of the oxygen-rich...

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  • There may be a problem with memory. Someone who fails to bathe or change clothes may need a checklist on the bathroom mirror as a reminder.
  • There may be a behavior problem. The person may not respond appropriately in social situations. Inappropriate behavior should be discussed immediately and in a matter-of-fact way.

If your family member has judgment problems:

  • Remember that nagging or getting angry only makes things worse.
  • Tell the person immediately when he or she does something wrong.
  • Be sure to acknowledge when he or she does the "right" thing.
  • Talk with your doctor to see if medicines might help treat the problem.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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