Emilia Clarke Reveals She's 'Missing' Parts Of Her Brain After Aneurysms. Here's What That Means

Widely recognized for her role as Mother of Dragons in the critically-acclaimed HBO series "Game of Thrones," Emilia Clarke spoke with BBC Sunday Morning where she shared the details of her recovery from two separate brain aneurysms (via People). MedicalNewsToday explains that a brain aneurysm is the weakening or bulging of an artery in the brain. First occurring in 2011 and again in 2013, Clarke's first aneurysm led to a stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage. This is bleeding that occurs in between the brain and the surrounding membrane, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Two weeks following surgery, Clarke developed a condition known as aphasia (per People). Classified by the Stroke Association as a language and communication disorder, Clarke recalls being unable to speak or remember her name for about a week. The actor then underwent brain surgery again two years later for a second aneurysm.

Looking back on the experience, Clarke describes it as "the most excruciating pain," reports Variety. Additionally, the star revealed during her interview that "quite a bit" of her brain is missing. "The amount of my brain that is no longer usable — it's remarkable that I am able to speak, sometimes articulately, and live my life completely normally with absolutely no repercussions," Clarke explained. "I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that."

How a stroke can impact brain function

Providing some background, Clarke explained the effect her subsequent stroke had on her brain after her first aneurysm. "As soon as any part of your brain doesn't get blood for a second, it's gone. And so the blood finds a different route to get around but then whatever bit it's missing is therefore gone," Clarke told BBC Sunday Morning (via People).

By "gone," Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that this pertains to a loss of function patients often experience from the affected brain region following a stroke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a stroke is the result of obstructed blood flow to the brain or the bursting of a blood vessel. When this occurs, the brain area becomes damaged or may die off. This can impact the body's ability to function if the damaged area is tied to certain critical functions such as language, physical movement, emotion, or memory.

Because a stroke can be life-threatening, the CDC emphasizes the importance of recognizing the warning signs of a stroke in order to seek immediate emergency medical attention. Common symptoms include the sudden onset of confusion, severe headache, trouble seeing in one or both eyes, dizziness, difficulty walking, or numbness or weakness in the face, arms, or legs.