Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Theslee Joy DePieroEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_457


Hemiplegia refers to the paralysis of one side of the body, arm and leg, with or without weakness of the face. Hemiplegia implies a severe or total paralysis, as opposed to hemiparesis, which implies some retained movement.


Hemiplegia is most commonly caused by lesions of the corticospinal tract in the brain, brain stem, or cervical spinal cord. Depending on the location of the lesion, there may be accompanying abnormalities, such as cognitive or language disorders, visual impairments, or sensory disorders. In lacunar strokes, the hemiplegia involves the face, as well as arm and leg. Dysarthria may be present, but there are no sensory, cognitive, or language deficits. In the spinal cord, there are almost always other abnormalities associated with hemiplegia, typically sensory deficits.


Hemiplegia may be spastic or flaccid. Often there is initial flaccidity followed by spasticity.


Stroke, tumors, trauma, hemorrhages, and congenital.


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References and Readings

  1. Ropper, A. H., Samuels, M. A., & Klein, J. P. (2014). Adams and Victor's principals of neurology (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Braintree Rehabilitation HospitalBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA