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What is a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), also known as a stroke ?

A CVA occurs when there is a lack of blood circulation to the brain. This causes brain damage.

A CVA does not affect all parts of the brain. This explains the multitude of differential behavioral consequences that can ensue following a CVA.

The outcome of a CVA will be influenced by many factors including the type of lesion, its severity, personality and level of functioning prior to the accident and time lapsed since the CVA.


  • Hemiplegia
  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Skin sensitivity, lack of body awareness
  • Changes in sexual responsiveness (ie. lubrication, discomfort…)


  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Agnosia: difficulty recognizing familiar objects
  • Apraxia: difficulty initiating movement
  • Aphasia: difficulty using or understanding language


  • Emotional instability
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes


  • Impulsivity
  • Rigidity of thinking
  • Disinhibition
  • Apathy

Remember that: Each case is unique!

The brain lesions can be minor, moderate,
or severe. The consequences are not all
present at the same time, in the same person.

The impact on the couple and/or family
must be taken into consideration. There
is an inevitable period of disruption of
varying length that ensues following a CVA.
Disruptions can include such things as:

  • Loss of employment
  • Perte d’emploi;
  • Reduction in income;
  • The need for house or apartment modifications;
  • Readjustment in assigned roles and tasks.

For more information, contact
the Heart & Stroke Fondation of Quebec.


What is a brain trauma?

A brain trauma occurs when a person receives
a heavy blow to the head and as a result suffers
one or more lesions to brain.

This can be the result of a fall, accident, or gun shot wound.

Depending on the area of the brain that sustains the damage,
some of the following consequences will be observed:


  • Paralysis
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sensory difficulties
  • Loss of balance


  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Difficulty with comprehension


  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety, loss of insight
  • Personality changes


  • Impulsivity
  • Disinhibition
  • Aggressiveness
  • Apathy

These consequences frequently interfere with familiy relationships and present social, educational, and professional challenges.

The impact is different from one person to another.

For more information, contact the Société de l’Assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).