When a stroke damages the left side of the brain, it can cause effects on the right side of the body along with some other symptoms.

In the United States, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. Each year, over 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or bursts, reducing blood flow to part of the brain and causing brain cells to die. The left and right sides of the brain control motor and sensory functions on the opposite side of the body. As a result, a stroke on the left side of the brain can cause symptoms or effects on the body’s right side.

This article discusses the symptoms, effects, treatment, and prevention of a stroke on the left side of the brain.

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A stroke is a medical emergency that can cause a range of symptoms. Though the symptoms can vary in severity and type, they all occur suddenly.

Signs of a stroke can include:

When someone experiences a stroke on the left side of their brain, they may experience numbness or weakness in their right leg or arm or the right side of their face.

Read about the FAST signs of a stroke here.

People should call 911 immediately if any of the symptoms above appear suddenly in themselves or another person.

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A stroke on the left side of the brain can cause the following effects:

Learn more about the left and right brain here.

Treatment and recovery will vary based on the severity of the stroke.

Stroke treatment typically involves three approaches:

  • treatment immediately following a stroke
  • prevention of a second or recurrent strokes
  • rehabilitation

Ischemic stroke treatment

There are two main types of strokes. The majority of people have an ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood clots or other particles block a blood vessel to part of the brain.

To treat this, healthcare professionals will work to dissolve or remove the clot when a person reaches the hospital.

If a person arrives at a hospital within 3 hours of stroke symptoms starting, healthcare professionals may use medications, such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), to dissolve the blood clot. Research indicates that tPA treatment may help improve a person’s outlook after a stroke.

Hemorrhagic stroke treatment

The other type of stroke, a hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or leaks. Healthcare professionals will aim to repair the blood vessel and stop the bleeding.

In either type of stroke, immediate emergency treatment helps improve a person’s outlook.


After emergency treatment, a person who has experienced a stroke will typically need rehabilitation, which may involve a range of therapies. These may include:

Social workers may also help a person or their family adjust to life after a stroke. For example, they may help find care services and offer assistance with financial decisions. People may also benefit from joining a stroke support group, which may provide emotional support and allow people to share their experiences with others.

However, recovery from a stroke will vary from person to person. Several factors may affect a person’s outcome, including:

  • age
  • the severity of brain damage
  • the presence and severity of any other health conditions
  • cooperation of friends and family
  • level of alertness
  • the intensity of the rehabilitation program
  • timing of rehabilitation
  • modifications in the home or work environment, such as installing grab bars in the shower

It is best for people to speak with a healthcare professional to learn more about individual outcomes and rehabilitation programs.

Read more about rehabilitation following a stroke here.

A person can take steps that may help reduce their risk of a stroke. These include:

Underlying health conditions and factors that can increase a person’s risk of experiencing a stroke include:

It is best for a person to speak with a healthcare professional about their individual risk factors for stroke and how to manage any existing health conditions to help prevent further complications.

A person should call 911 immediately after recognizing any signs of a stroke, such as numbness or weakness on one side of the body. Faster treatment helps improve a person’s overall outcome.

A stroke on the left side of the brain can cause paralysis and other issues on the right side of the body. It can also cause difficulties with speech and language comprehension.

After initial emergency treatment, a person may require long-term rehabilitation services, such as speech therapy.

People who have had a stroke can speak with a healthcare professional about reducing their risk of recurrence. A healthcare professional may also offer advice regarding individual outlooks and rehabilitation programs.