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What Are the Effects of a Temporal Lobe Stroke?

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Updated April 23, 2009

What Are the Effects of a Temporal Lobe Stroke?

A stroke in the temporal lobe

Photo © A.D.A.M.
Question: What Are the Effects of a Temporal Lobe Stroke?
Answer: A temporal lobe stroke can cause a variety of long-term effects that range from difficulty speaking to hearing loss. Here are some of the most common functional dimensions affected by temporal lobe strokes.

Language:

Hearing

  • Hearing loss: Usually hearing loss is mild after one temporal lobe is affected by a stroke. But when both temporal lobes are affected the result might be complete deafness. This is very rare.
  • Auditory agnosia: Difficulty recognizing combinations of sounds such as songs, musical tones, and complex conversations.
  • Auditory verbal agnosia: This is the same as pure word deafness (see above)
  • Auditory illusions: Aberrant perception of normal sounds so that they feel unusual, strange, repeated, or loud.
  • Auditory hallucinations: One hears sounds that are not there. These sounds may be very complex (the sound of a song being played on the radio) or very simple (whistles or sirens). People may or may not realize that these sounds represent a hallucination. In some cases auditory hallucinations may be accompanied by visual ones.

Memory, Emotion and Behavior

  • Loss of short or long term memory
  • Fits of rage
  • Violent or aggressive behavior
  • Placidity
  • Lack of interest
  • Abnormally enhanced sexuality

Other

  • Vertigo (a type of balance problem)
  • Abnormal perception of time: A feeling that time stands still or goes by extremely quickly. People might intermittently lose sense of what year, season or month it is.
  • Disturbances of smell and taste:
  • Seizures

Source:

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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