Stroke: Mechanisms and Effects Of all neurologic disorders, the constellation collectively called “stroke” is the most frequent as well as the most important. Whereas heart disease and cancer cause more deaths than do strokes, both are far less important causes of chronic disability. Unfortunately, not only the general public (from whence come patients), ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 1997
Stroke: Mechanisms and Effects
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Oscar M. Reinmuth
    University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   October 01, 1997
Stroke: Mechanisms and Effects
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 1997, Vol. 7, 16-19. doi:10.1044/nnsld7.3.16
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 1997, Vol. 7, 16-19. doi:10.1044/nnsld7.3.16
Of all neurologic disorders, the constellation collectively called “stroke” is the most frequent as well as the most important. Whereas heart disease and cancer cause more deaths than do strokes, both are far less important causes of chronic disability. Unfortunately, not only the general public (from whence come patients), but many physicians and health professionals, are woefully deficient in understanding stroke and its many manifestations.
Why should stroke pose such a problem in this regard? Why is stroke different from other medical or surgical disorders? Although this question has some obvious answers, some features that are frequently forgotten deserve emphasis. First, the brain is incredibly complex; not only does it set man aside from all other biological creatures, but it is complex in comparison to every other organ. We accept the ability to think, to analyze, to understand others, to speak, to write, without thinking that this is accomplished in a mass of tissue smaller than the liver. Dysfunction of different parts of the brain produces an infinite variety of behavioral changes—with no competition from the simple problems possible in disorders of skin, kidneys, heart, pancreas—the list is long.
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