Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: When a stroke has no immediate symptoms



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An MRI or CT scan can detect a silent stroke.

Q. I recently heard the term "silent stroke." If a stroke is silent, how is it diagnosed?

A. Most strokes occur when a clot blocks a blood vessel that feeds part of the brain. Starved of blood and oxygen, cells in that area may die, causing symptoms such as sudden weakness in an arm or leg, trouble speaking, or vision problems.

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