Sometimes seniors have a stroke without realizing it. This type of stroke, known as a silent stroke, may have no easily recognizable symptoms, and the senior may not remember having the stroke. It’s believed that about 25% of older adults experience silent strokes, and new research has found these strokes can cause damage to the brain that may contribute to memory loss. Read on for more information on how silent stroke can affect memory, brought to you by Home Care Assistance of North Houston.
What is a Silent Stroke?
While strokes can cause significant and debilitating brain damage, silent strokes are different in that they cause damage in a smaller area. These strokes are subtle and they tend to impact less-functional brain regions. They are also far more common than regular strokes. For every person who has a stroke resulting in noticeable symptoms, about 14 people experience a silent stroke.
The Link Between Memory Loss and Silent Strokes
In 2011, a study funded by the National Institutes on Health examined more than 650 seniors, none of who had a history of dementia or major memory issues. All study participants received MRIs to visualize the brain’s memory centers, along with memory and critical thinking tests.
This study found 25% of the seniors had evidence of a silent stroke, which seemed to cause subtle memory problems.
This study supports others done in the past linking strokes with memory loss, as well as studies that have found people at risk for a stroke are also at a higher risk for thinking and memory problems as they get older, even if they do not have a stroke.
It’s common for several silent strokes to occur in a short period of time, and the damage can accumulate, leading to worsening memory problems. The best way to prevent a silent stroke is making lifestyle changes such as lowering blood pressure, losing weight, and quitting smoking.
To learn more about stroke care in North Houston or general senior health and wellness, contact a knowledgeable Home Care Assistance Care Manager at 832-412-1345. Our experienced stroke caregivers can assist with a variety of tasks from transportation to physical therapy exercises and promote a safe and effective recovery for your loved one.