Recent Blog Articles
Heart disease risk: Partnering on lifestyle change can help
Can wearing contacts harm your vision?
Vegan and paleo: Pluses and minuses to watch
Postpartum anxiety is invisible, but common and treatable
Right-sizing opioid prescriptions after surgery
Ready for your routine medical checkup?
Nicotine addiction explained — and how medications can help
Is your vision impaired? Tips to cope
Misgendering: What it is and why it matters
Healthy brain, healthier heart?
What is a silent stroke?
Ask the doctor
Q. My aunt, who is in her late 70s, recently had a brain scan after a minor fall. She seems fine now, but the doctor said the scan showed evidence of an unrelated silent stroke. What does that mean?
A. A silent stroke refers to a stroke that doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms. Most strokes are caused by a clot that blocks a blood vessel in the brain. The blockage prevents blood and oxygen from reaching that area, causing nearby brain cells to die. Depending on the location of the clot, this can cause symptoms such as weakness in an arm or leg (which could cause a fall) or trouble speaking or seeing. But sometimes, the area of damage is quite small and occurs in a part of the brain that doesn't control any vital functions, so the stroke remains undetected.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.