There are two main types of stroke, ischaemic and haemorrhagic. Because stroke varies significantly in the parts of the brain that are affected, there is no single neuropsychological profile for stroke. To a large extent, the neuropsychological phenomena associated with stroke depend on the vessel and side of the brain affected. For example, ischaemic stroke of the right middle cerebral artery territory is highly associated with the phenomenon of unilateral spatial neglect, whereas stroke of the left middle cerebral artery territory is associated with dysphasia.

Ischaemic Stroke

This is where there is a disruption to the blood supply to the brain, which causes neurons (brain cells) to dysfunction and in many cases die. Ischaemic stroke accounts for over 60% of all strokes and usually affects those over the age of 55 years.

Haemorrhagic Stroke

This is where a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. This can cause bleeding either within or around the brain. Half of those that have a haemorrhagic stroke will die as a result. Of the 50% that survive, outcome is usually better than that of those who sustain ischaemic strokes. Haemorrhagic stroke accounts for many of the strokes that occur under the age of 45 years.