I literally JUST learned about strokes in my neuro class (also concussions but that's for another thread)... Exam is on Monday!
Anyway, strokes are essentially when certain parts of the brain don't get enough blood flow and those cells which are affected die. Most people generally associate strokes with losing muscle movement/sensation on half the body and/or disruption in speech, and that usually occurs when a particular artery (called the middle cerebral artery) becomes compromised. But strokes can exhibit themselves in many different ways, depending on what part of the brain is affected.
In Letang's case, having a patent foramen ovale introduces irregular blood flow mechanics and may allow a clot to form and bypass the lungs. The article mentions dizziness as one of his symptoms which is common with strokes that occur from occlusion or hemmorhage to the vertebrobasillar artery. This artery supplies the brainstem, cerebellum and visual cortex, so it would seem that the clot that formed (assuming that's even what happened) traveled to the back of the brain/brainstem where motor coordination, vision, and a few other things are regulated, and impeded blood flow to these areas. I can't speak for Letang's case specifically, but it is common to also experience double vision, difficulty swallowing, as well as disequilibrium and vertigo for vertebrobasillar artery strokes (just in case any of you experience one in the future you know now what to look for).
The article mentioned that he would be back on the ice though, so that's certainly good news. Strokes are serious business.
Edited by Echolalia, 07 February 2014 - 08:08 PM.