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    Silent Stroke: What You Need to Know

    Have you had a stroke? How could you tell?

    A stroke is a sudden stop of blood supply to part of the brain. Some people have strokes without ever knowing it. These so-called silent strokes either have no easy-to-recognize symptoms, or you don’t remember them. But they do cause permanent damage in your brain.

    If you've had more than one silent stroke, you may have thinking and memory problems. They can also lead to more severe strokes.

    Detecting a Silent Stroke

    If you have a silent stroke, you probably won’t know it, unless you happen to have a brain scan and the damage shows up. You may have slight memory problems or a little difficulty getting around. A doctor may be able to see signs of silent strokes without testing.

    Different From TIA

    Silent Strokes More Common Than You'd Expect

    A study of middle-aged people with no apparent signs of stroke found that about 10% had brain damage from one.

    High blood pressure and irregular heartbeat raise your risk.

    The damage that occurs is permanent, but therapy might help stimulate other parts of the brain so you regain functions that may have weakened.

    Prevent Strokes With Good Habits

    These healthy habits can help you lower your risk of both stroke and heart disease:

    • If you smoke, quit.
    • Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Cut back on fat, salt, and sugar.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on November 21, 2015

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