Silent Stroke: It Increases Memory Loss Risk, Scientists Say

Have you seen someone who has had a stroke? Then you have an idea on how devastating it can be. Are you aware that there is another form of stroke that does not cause trouble with walking or speaking, or any other symptom at all? It’s what doctors refer to as silent stroke, and it’s something that can cause memory loss.

Silent stroke is called as such because it causes no symptom. In fact, you may be having or has had one and not know about it. Some people may have had multiple silent strokes and had no idea each and every time.

No Symptom Produced

What makes silent stroke unnoticeable is the fact that it affects areas of the brain that do not control various functions of the body, like mobility and speech. However, the individual may notice that he or she is kind of having issues with the memory, which is oftentimes simply blamed on stress.

According to scientists, a silent stroke can happen over and over again, and in time may cause considerable problems with the memory, which may eventually lead to vascular dementia.

What is Vascular Dementia?

Vascular dementia is is the result of diminished supply of oxygenated blood to certain areas of the brain, causing brain tissues to die. There are many different things that can happen when vascular dementia strikes, and one of them is memory loss.

Aside from silent strokes, other common causes of vascular dementia include diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries.

Doctors say that cigarette smokers are at high risk of having vascular dementia.

More Common Than You Think

Scientists say that out of 12 million cases of stroke that happen each year, about 11 million of those are silent strokes. While it’s true that silent strokes do not produce any symptom, just like what’s discussed earlier, doctors can still determine whether a person has had a silent stroke or not.

The small areas of the brain that are damaged by silent strokes can be identified by means of diagnostic procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI and computed tomography or CT scans.

Who are at Risk?

Unfortunately, doctors say that you are at risk of stroke if you have relatives who have had strokes or silent strokes. So in other words, family history is considered as a risk factor.

Some other risk factors for silent strokes include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, cigarette smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. While there’s nothing you can do with family history, there are so many different things that you may do to deal with the other risk factors for silent strokes.

In other words, just because you have a family member who has had stroke doesn’t necessarily mean that you are bound to suffer the same fate.

Keeping Silent Stroke at Bay

To considerably lower your risk of suffering from a silent stroke one day, it’s of utmost importance for you to keep high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol in check. Such can be done by cutting back on your consumption of foods that are rich in saturated fat, bad cholesterol and sodium, while increasing fruit and vegetable intake.

You should also keep stress to a minimum, get your regular dose of exercise, quit cigarette smoking, and consume alcohol in moderate amounts only.

If you have diabetes, make sure that you keep it under control. See to it that you keep your blood sugar levels within the normal range to keep complications at bay, and one of them is a silent stroke.

Talking to your doctor if you believe that you are at risk of a silent stroke is a good idea in order for you to know what other steps that you may take to fend it off.

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