Silent Stroke

Man holding his finger to his lips to silence someone

You could have a stroke and not know it. It’s called silent cerebral infarction (SCI), or “silent stroke.”

Silent stroke is likely caused by a blood clot that interrupts blood flow in the brain. It’s a risk factor for future strokes and a sign of progressive brain damage.

Other conditions are related to SCI:

  • Atrial fibrillation, the most common form of irregular heartbeat in people older than 65, increases the risk of SCI more than two-fold. Risk factors for silent stroke are also risk factors for AF.
  • High systolic blood pressure, hypertension and elevated levels of blood homocysteine are risk factors for SCI. So early diagnosis and prevention of hypertension are important steps to prevent silent stroke.

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