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What is Hemiparesis by Taylor Autry

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Hemiparesis is a disorder which impairs movement. This disorder refers to one-sided weakness. This disorder occurs in about 80% of people who have suffered a stroke. Hemiparesis causes weakness and possibly the complete inability to move one side of the body. Weakness can impact all of the limbs on the effected side of the body.  Although hemiparesis is found very common with stroke patients, this is not the only cause. Some other conditions that may be related with hemiparesis are Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Head Trauma and Migraines. Most of these conditions are correlated with the brain and or spinal cord.

If the weakness occurs on the right side it reflects injury to the left side of the brain. This side of the brain controls speech and language. When people are affected on the right side of their brain they have a hard time speaking, talking and understanding when others are talking to them.  These people also have trouble telling the difference between left and right. When given the command they may not respond at all from the inability to process the command.

When the left side is affected it reflects injury to the right side of the brain which affects learning, behavior and non-verbal communication. Some behavioral symptoms a subject may have are excessive talking, short attention span or little to no short-term memory.

Treatment for hemiparesis involves a lot of physical therapy. In some instances sensation and movement are worked on and in others the physical therapist mostly helps with helping the subject learn how to alter everyday activities for the inability of movement. The physical therapist will help with awareness of the limbs and range of motion. It is imperative that the subject stay motivated and involved during physical therapy. This also falls on the therapists shoulder to help encourage and boast improvements. Active participation from the subject is crucial.

My son was diagnosed with hemiparesis at five months old. Upon being diagnosed, he was sent for an MRI. The results came back that he had a cyst on his brain. It is still inconclusive whether or not the cyst is correlated with the hemiparesis that he has. In his case he was just put into physical therapy and attended once a week. He has now graduated and no longer shows any signs of his hemiparesis. The doctors said that there could have been multiple causes for his condition. Some of them are, he was in the birth canal too long or he had an unknown head injury during birth. As I said before the actual reason is still unknown.

Hemiparesis can be a very trying disorder but not impossible to overcome. It is tough for people diagnosed with this especially adults after having a stroke. It can cause trouble speaking, moving, and over interaction of everyday life. With hard work and diligence it can be overcome. I had the opportunity to see this diligence and hard work first hand with my son.


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