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What Are the Effects of a Frontal Lobe Stroke?


Updated May 30, 2014

Senior woman laying in hospital bed
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Question: What Are the Effects of a Frontal Lobe Stroke?
Answer: Frontal lobe strokes can cause a variety of effects which range from weakness to lack of motivation. For this reason, it is helpful to separate these effects into four categories.


  • Weakness or paralysis on the side of the body opposite the stroke
  • Unmasking of primitive reflexes such as instinctive sucking, grasping, and groping
  • Compulsive mimicking of facial gestures made by others
  • Compulsive repetition of a movement (motor perseveration)
  • Abulia
  • Apraxia of gait
  • Urinary incontinence

Speech and Language

Cognition and Intellect

  • Lack of initiative, vacillation, mood changes and inattentiveness
  • Difficulty solving problems (goal-directed behavior) in different realms of cognition including psycholinguistic, constructive, logical, and arithmetical

Behavior and Personality

  • Profound lack of initiative and motivation
  • Spontaneous expression of socially inappropriate remarks
  • Irritability
  • Carelessness and apathy
  • Inappropriate and seemingly random persistence and repetition of certain behaviors


Allan Ropper and Robert Brown, Adam's and Victor's Principles of Neurology, 8th Edition McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, United States of America, 2005, pp 417-430.

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