The Dangers of Silent Stroke

While the public is generally aware of strokes and their after effects less is known about ”silent strokes”.
Normal symptoms of a stroke are usually obvious, like numbness or weakness on one side of the face, difficulty walking, trouble speaking and vision problems. Some strokes, though, pass completely without being noticed. But even these can have a significant and lasting effect on memory, according to the June 2012 issue of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch.
These so-called ”silent strokes” create points of dead cells in the brain. The damaged areas are smaller than with a traditional stroke. They often don’t affect areas of the brain that are associated with movement or speech.
During an  ischemic stroke, a blood clot blocks a blood vessel that feeds part of the brain. If there is no steady supply of blood, cells in that area stop functioning and may die. The symptoms that appear reflect  functions that were under the control of the affected part of the brain. The same occurs from a hemorrhagic stroke.
When someone has a  silent stroke, the interruption in blood flow occurs in part of the brain that doesn’t control any vital functions. Even though it doesn’t cause any obvious symptoms—most people who have had a silent stroke aren’t aware that it occurred, though the damage is revealed on an MRI or CT scan.
Memory can be affected by silent strokes, especially if several of them  occur over time (which happens a lot). The damage from silent strokes can accumulate, which leads to more and more memory problems.
What can women do when faced with a stroke that has no symptoms, and that are only  found on an MRI or CT scan? “I think that it should make people aware that it’s imperative to manage risk factors,” says Karen Furie, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Stroke Service. This means:
–not smoking
–controlling blood pressure and diabetes
–aiming for a healthy weight
–keeping cholesterol levels in check
–managing atrial fibrillation
When someone experiences memory loss it should not be dismissed it as a normal part of aging. The doctor should be consulted for testing to make sure their isn’t a silent stroke.
The public should also be aware of the solutions available when a major stroke occurs and when physical therapy is needed to rehabilitate affected limbs.
 The newly developed HANDTUTOR and its sister devices (ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR, 3DTUTOR) have become a key system in neuromuscular rehabilitation for stroke victims and those recovering from brain and spinal injuries,Parkinson’s, MS, CP and other limb movement limitations. These physical therapy products implement an impairment based program with augmented motion feedback that encourages motor learning through intensive active exercises and movement practice. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR consist of wearable glove and braces that detect limb movement showing the patient how much active or assisted active movement they are actually doing. The  software uses special rehabilitation games to set a new target for this movement in terms of the patient’s ability to move their limb. The devices then measure the limb movement and give feedback to the patient. In this  way the patient  understands which effort is more successful. The TUTOR system provides exercises that are challenging and motivating and allow for repetitive and intensive exercise practice. The TUTOR system is now part of the rehabilitation program of leading U.S. German, Italian, French, UK and other foreign hospitals. IThey are also available throughthe use of telerehabilitation.See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by martin on June 30, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I recently had mental and physical symptoms of a Tia around six weeks ago , but was able to speak and walk, symtoms went after couple of hours but kept recuring daily for about a week, I was at hospital for the whole time, the doctors took 8 days to do ct scan and said it was clear, felt fine for the past four weeks but symptoms slowly came back for around four days, this time it was only mental symptoms such as confusion, hard to keep up with general conversation, memory loss, and a numbness on right side of my head. this experience was quite scary it was like a roller coaster ride with symptoms of feeling fine one hour to being delirious and senile another hour. iv Also had one or two moments where I feel like I’m going to go unconsciouse and get very irritated by fast moving objects, bright light, and noise, whatever it was I had no control over it apart from the fact that if i diddent smoke to many ciggaretts it seemed to completely fade away, I am quite concerned about my long term mental health as this experience is playing a big role in my mental ability when its accuring and I’m only 25. after the numbness in my head disapeared it seemed to take about 4 days before my head really felt back in order, I’m starting to feel okay again these past 7 days and I did see my gp and she looked at me as if I was mad and said its probly anxiety, I’ve personally outruled this because I do have a full time job, iv never suffered from any mood swings or stress and have even started gym and made things little harder for myself for the time being such as staying up late, and leaving daily things till last minit to see what could trigger this, would be very thankful if I could get An opinion from someone who knows what they are talking about and wondering if its possible if I’m suffering from some kind of chronic silent stroke, and is it worth me paying for my own mri and ultrasound scan as the national health service won’t help.


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