Brain Lobes and Effects of Stroke
The abilities that will be lost or changed by a stroke depend on the amount of damage and the location of the stroke in the brain. The brain is divided into four lobes, frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital. Each lobe in the brain controls different functions or skills. A stroke in a particular lobe
may cause problems with some or all of the symptoms listed below.
- telling right from left
- blood pressure
- fine muscle control
- word recognition
- pain perception
- speech production
- temperature sensation
- processing of social emotions
The cerebellum controls many of our reflexes and much of our balance and coordination. A stroke that takes place in the cerebellum can cause abnormal reflexes of the head and torso, coordination and balance problems, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms include these listed below.
- Difficulty moving or feeling sensation in all four limbs.
- Clumsiness in an arm or leg, or unsteady walking or movement.
- Difficulty forming words.
- Eyes may look in different directions, gaze may be shaky, may be unable to see in one or more directions.
Brain Stem Stroke (Midbrain, Pons, Medulla)
Strokes that occur in the brain stem are especially destructive. The brain stem is the area of the brain that controls our heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. The brain stem also helps control eye movement, hearing, speech, and swallowing.
Since all brain activity in both halves of the brain must go through the brain stem on their way to the arms and legs, patients with a brain stem stroke may not be able to move part or all of their bodies.
Protection of the Brain
Since the brain is responsible for so many vital functions, it needs to be well protected.
- Skull – bony covering over the brain.
- Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) –fluid that flows through the ventricles or spaces of the brain and around the spinal cord. This is like a fluid cushion for the brain, which acts as a shock absorber. About one quart of CSF is being produced a day by special cells just outside the brain tissue. Sometimes the flow of the CSF gets blocked, causing intracranial pressure (ICP) to increase.
- Meninges – protective layers that cover the brain and spinal cord.
- Dura Mater – tough, outer layer near skull.
- Arachnoid – thin and delicate middle layer which contains blood vessels.
- Pia Mater – innermost layer that covers the brain, which also contains blood vessels.
- “Spaces” between the Meninges
- Epidural – “space” between skull and dura mater.
- Subdural – “space” between dura mater and arachnoid layer.
- Subarachnoid – “space” between the arachnoid layer and pia mater, where CSF flows.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/13/2012
Copyright © 09/13/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5593
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