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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Hemiplegia
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System


Alternate Names : Hemiparalysis

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Hemiplegia is a condition in which there is paralysis on one side of the body. This paralysis may affect part of the body, such as one arm or leg, or the whole side of the body.

What is going on in the body?

Hemiplegia occurs when there is a disruption of blood flow to the brain. This causes part of the brain to die. Messages that usually tell the body when and how to function are interrupted. Paralysis in the body occurs in the side opposite of the affected part of the brain. For instance, if the right side of the brain is affected, the left side of the body becomes paralyzed.

A few types of hemiplegia include:

  • capsular, which is caused from an lesion on part of the internal capsule of the brain
  • cerebral, which is caused by a brain lesion
  • facial, which is paralysis on one side of the face
  • spastic, which is paralysis and spastic or stiff, unusual movements of the body, occurring more often in infants
  • spinal, which is associated with lesions on the spine
  • What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    Hemiplegia is caused by a disruption in the blood flow to part of the brain. This may be due to a stroke, a brain tumor, or excessive bleeding from a head injury.

    A person with diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol is more at risk for a stroke. Other factors that increase the risk of a stroke include obesity, smoking, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and drinking alcohol.


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    Hemiplegia: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/03/01

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