22 Ramsis Benjamin, M.D. Q Are there signs or symptoms of stroke? It is important to first mention that stroke happens very quickly. Symptoms that exist for weeks or months are usually not caused by strokes, and other causes need to be investigated. A stroke is a blood clot in a particular part of the brain that can produce very specific signs and symptoms. Each lobe in the brain, like the rooms of a house, has a specific function. Each part of the brain is designed to help you interact and interpret the world around you. For example: The frontal lobe controls speech and strength, the parietal lobe processes how you feel, the occipital lobe helps you see, the temporal lobe is responsible for memory and hearing, and the cerebellum keeps your balance. Six signs and symptoms The set of signs and symptoms from each distinct lobe could be remembered as the six S’s of the brain: Speech, Strength, Sensation, Seeing, Sentiment (memory and thoughts) and Stability (or Stumbling). If you suddenly lose the ability to perform any of the six S’s, the likelihood that you’re having a stroke is high, and there should be no delay in calling 911. The sooner you get treated, the faster the recovery and the better chance of dissolving the clot. To stress the importance of recognizing a stroke, any of the following conditions that occur abruptly could signal a stroke— especially if affecting only one side of the body or face: • Weakness • Numbness • Speech impairment • Trouble seeing • Confusion • Walking difficulty One final comment: If there is a severe headache associated with any of the above, bleeding in the brain would be of great concern. Again, call 911 immediately. A th sk e Expert Concerned about your brain health? Call Kootenai Clinic Neurology at (208) 625-5100, or visit KH.org/neurology to see how we can help.