There are times when a lapse in memory is due to a silent stroke. Neurologypractitioners in American Fork encounter many cases wherein several strokes that occur over time remain undiagnosed until imaging results become available.
An interruption in the blood supply to the brain may not lead to full-blown cerebrovascular disease. However, the infarct may still cause brain tissue to die.
No immediate signs of an illness
Being “silent,” a stroke involving small infarcts may not have immediate effects. As many as 11 million Americans may be affected by the illness each year. The brain scans reveal scarred tissue in the form of white spots in areas supplied by bleeding or blocked vessels.
The vessels affected are tiny, and the white spots are often minuscule, suggesting small areas of affectation in the brain. Perhaps, the damage is not significant enough to manifest as typical symptoms of a stroke.
In contrast, a typical stroke has an immediate effect on a person’s movement and ability to communicate. The effects are noticeable and may be permanent. By definition, a silent stroke refers to an occurrence wherein symptoms are difficult to spot.
Nevertheless, these silent strokes must be treated so that greater damage could be prevented. In contrast, a typical stroke has an immediate effect on a person’s movement and ability to communicate.
Lapses in memory
A stroke is a neurological condition characterized by a lack of blood supply to brain tissue. It has been reported that silent strokes in the brain occur about 14 times more often than regular strokes. Current studies specific to persons with dementia have pointed to the significance of brain imaging findings relating memory loss to dead brain tissue.
A number of occurrences of silent strokes may be a factor in the development of memory loss and lapses in mental function. Research studies show that accumulated damage from silent strokes may lead to problems with memory in the aging brain. Silent strokes are more common among the older population.
Not your typical headache
While silent strokes are usually asymptomatic, the illness may present as episodes of dizziness or headaches. It is not uncommon for doctors to discover small brain infarcts in persons who complain of recurrent headaches.
The infarcts are located in areas of the brain that are not used as often in daily functions.
Signs of a silent stroke
Aside from a headache, dizziness, or a memory lapse, there are other signs, which can point to the occurrence of a silent stroke. These signs are difficult to distinguish from other neurological conditions without definitive imaging results.
Nevertheless, it is good to know these temporary issues may already be signs of something more significant. The symptoms of silent stroke may include loss of bladder control, lack of coordination, balance impairment, and cognitive issues other than memory loss.
Call for medical help immediately these symptoms occur in an older person or a young person with health risks for cerebrovascular disease.
Your physician can advise you on the risks of a silent stroke. You can reduce these risks with specific lifestyle modifications and preventative medicine.