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What is a CVA?

A CVA occurs when the flow of blood to brain cells is disrupted and brain cells are damaged.

A CVA does not damage every part of the brain. Effects will therefore differ from one person to another, depending on what part of the brain has been affected. Many other factors, such as type of injury, severity of damage, length of time since the stroke, the person’s health and even their personality, will also influence their condition and recovery.

Impacts of a CVA


  • Co-ordination and balance impairments
  • Skin sensitivity, difficulty recognizing body limitations
  • Changes in sex life


  • Short-term memory impairment
  • Difficulty recognizing familiar objects (agnosia)
  • Difficulty executing movements (apraxia)
  • Difficulty in the ability to speak and understand language (aphasia)

Emotional and behavioural

  • Emotional instability and impulsivity
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Rigid thinking
  • Disinhibition
  • Apathy or passivity
  • Personality change

A CVA is life changing

CVAs damage can be mild, moderate or severe and varies greatly from person to person. However, they always have an impact on the quality of life of a person and their loved ones. The impact on a couple and family should be considered. A longer or shorter period of disorganization can also have many social, educational or professional consequences.

To learn more about CVAs, visit the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Québec’s Web site 

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What is a TBI?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a shock to the head severe enough to damage not only the skull, but also the brain

The term TBI encompasses all injuries and disorders caused by a shock to the head. This shock can happen during a traffic accident, while playing sports, at work, and in many other everyday situations.

Consequences of TBI vary from person to person depending on the part of the brain affected, severity of the trauma, age, health status, care received, etc. Damaged neurons cause a change or loss of function at various levels.

Impacts of TBI


  • Total or partial paralysis
  • Increased fatigue
  • Speech impairment
  • Sensory loss
  • Dizziness and difficulty with balance


  • Short- or long-term memory impairment
  • Learning difficulties
  • Attention and concentration deficits
  • Thought disorder or trouble with abstraction

Emotional and Behavioural

  • Mood swings
  • Decreased emotional control (aggressive, angry, impulsive behaviours, etc.)
  • Anxiety
  • Decrease in capacity for self-criticism
  • Disinhibition
  • Apathy or passivity
  • Personality change

A TBI is life changing

The impacts of a TBI differ widely from person to person, but always affect the quality of life of a person and their loved ones. Difficulties can often be seen in terms of family, social, academic or professional integration. Adequate guidance and support through the difficulties inherent to TBI aim to help people regain balance in their lives.

To learn more about TBI, consult the SAAQ brochure designed to help families and individuals with TBI

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