The type and extent of a stroke’s long term effects depends on the amount of brain tissue that’s starved of oxygen when the stroke happens. Long term effects are also partly determined by your general health at the time of the attack.1 A large stroke can cause death, while a small stroke can cause minor problems which may disappear completely over time. In many cases, stroke effects are somewhere in between the two.
In the first few weeks after a stroke, the swelling and inflammation around the damaged brain tissue settles down, helping to improve some of the symptoms. Over time, you will normally experience further improvement. In some cases, cells just outside the affected area may compensate for the damaged cells. In other cases it’s possible for other parts of the brain to take over the functions from the damaged brain tissue.1 After stroke recovery, it’s common for some degree of disability to remain. You may require specialist long term stroke rehabilitation to regain the skills and abilities that have been lost.2
The left side of the brain controls language abilities including speech, comprehension, reading and writing. The right side is responsible for perceptual skills that include interpreting external stimuli, and spatial skills that judge speed, distance and space.1 For this reason, the type of long term effects that happen, and the level of stroke care required, depend on which the side of the brain has been affected.
Some of the long term repercussions of having a stroke include:1, 2