A parietal lobe stroke can affect the brain’s ability to interpret sensory information and spatial awareness.
This article will explain everything you need to know about parietal lobe stroke from causes to rehabilitation outlook.
Let’s get started!
Causes of Parietal Lobe Stroke
Parietal lobe stroke occur when a blood vessel in the parietal lobe gets blocked (ischemic stroke) or bursts (hemorrhagic stroke).
There are 3 blood vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the parietal lobe:
- the middle cerebral artery
- the anterior cerebral artery
- the posterior cerebral artery
Oxygen fuels cell activity, so without enough blood supply, brain cells will start to die, and the parietal lobe will start to dysfunction.
Symptoms of Parietal Lobe Stroke
Immediate medical attention is essential for reducing the effects of parietal lobe stroke.
To help you remember the signs of a stroke, think “F.A.S.T.”
- Face drooping
- Arm weakness
- Speech difficulty
- Time to call 911!
Additionally, if you experience sudden numbness, confusion, headache, trouble walking, or difficulties seeing, seek emergency medical attention.
With a parietal lobe stroke, sensory processing functions are directly affected. Therefore, abrupt loss of sensation or visual problems are likely to occur.
Side Effects of Parietal Lobe Stroke
A parietal lobe stroke will primarily affect sensory interpretation and spatial awareness.
The brain is split into 2 hemispheres (left and right), and each hemisphere controls the functions of the opposite side of the body.
For example, if you have a stroke on the left side of your brain, it will affect functions on the right side of your body.
Additionally, everyone has a dominant side of the brain. If you’re left-handed, the right side of your brain is dominant, and if you’re right-handed, the left side of your brain is dominant.
You can expect different outcomes following a parietal lobe stroke depending on which hemisphere the stroke occurred in.
However, it’s also important to understand that these outcomes are not limited to just one part of the brain. Many functions require both hemispheres and multiple areas of the brain to work together.
Parietal Lobe Stroke on Your Dominant Side
If you have a parietal lobe stroke on the dominant side of your brain, you may experience:
- Agnosia (Loss of general perception)
- Difficulties differentiating between left and right
- Agraphia (Difficulties writing)
- Alexia (Difficulties reading)
- Acalculia (Difficulties with math)
- Aphasia (Impaired speech)
- Proprioception (Difficulties sensing where your body parts are)
Parietal Lobe Stroke on Your Non-Dominant Side
If you have a parietal lobe stroke on the non-dominant side of your brain, you may experience:
- Hemineglect. (When your eyesight is fine, but it’s almost as if you don’t see things on your affected side. For example, only eating food from the right side of your plate.)
- Poor spatial awareness (Inability to understand where your body is in relation to other objects so that you can interact with the world around you.)
- Impaired sense of direction and visual memory
- Anosognosia (Inability to perceive the effects of a parietal lobe stroke). This can be problematic because the individual denies his/her sensory deficits and is less likely to participate in rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation from Parietal Lobe Stroke
Many effects of parietal lobe stroke can be managed through effective rehabilitation interventions.
Parietal lobe stroke doesn’t necessarily alter the function of your senses, but rather the way they are processed by the brain.
By promoting neuroplasticity, the brain can be trained to rewire itself and relearn how to process and understand sensory information.
A lack of spatial awareness can make it difficult for stroke survivors to interact with their environment.
For example, when someone reaches for a shirt and their aim is entirely off. This will make it difficult to get dressed.
At occupational therapy, stroke survivors practice engaging their senses to carry out activities of daily living.
You have to train your brain to recalibrate coordination between your vision and touch with lots of repetition.
Stroke survivors that are experiencing difficulties with writing, reading, speaking, comprehension, visual processing, or memory can benefit from speech therapy.
A speech-language pathologist is trained to help people recover their communication skills.
The more you work with a speech therapist, the better you will get at articulating your thoughts and expressing them.
Physical therapy exercises will help develop a sense of body awareness and balance.
This will help stroke survivors that have impaired proprioception.
Our bodies respond to demand, so the more you practice moving, the more your brain will adjust.
Visual Scanning Exercises
Visual scanning exercises (like word searches) encourage stroke survivors to make a conscious effort to focus on stimuli on the affected side.
The more you practice engaging your neglected side, the better your brain will get at noticing stimuli.
With enough repetition, the brain can rewire itself to acknowledge your neglected side.
Understanding Parietal Lobe Stroke
Parietal lobe stroke affects your ability to process sensory information and understand spatial awareness.
Luckily, there is hope for recovery.
Through repetitive practice, neuroplasticity is promoted, and parietal lobe functions can be reassigned to undamaged areas of the brain.
Hopefully, this article helped you better understand parietal lobe stroke and what you can do to recover from it. Good luck!
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