Can a Silent Stroke Erode Memory?

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Are Silent Strokes a Precursor to Memory Loss in Sacramento, CA

Silent strokes are the most common type of stroke, but their lack of obvious symptoms mean they often go unnoticed. Like hemorrhagic strokes, ischemic strokes are caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain. They’re called “silent” because the affected areas don’t control any vital physical functions. However, a growing body of evidence suggests silent strokes can lead to memory loss and impaired cognitive function. 

The Prevalence of Silent Strokes

Researchers estimate that around 87 percent of the nearly 800,000 strokes that occur in the United States each year are silent strokes. After the age of 55, the risk of having a stroke doubles with each decade. More than 75 percent of all strokes occur in adults over the age of 65.

Seniors who have had strokes often need help with the everyday tasks of life. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study

In a study funded by the NIH, researchers administered MRI brain scans to more than 650 adults over the age of 65. None of the study’s participants had a history of memory loss or dementia. The MRI scans revealed around one quarter of the participants showed evidence of having experienced silent strokes, and the affected group also scored lower on memory and cognitive tests. 

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Sacramento, CA, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

Silent Strokes & Alzheimer’s Disease 

Multiple studies have established a connection between cardiovascular health and Alzheimer’s disease. While a direct correlation between silent strokes and Alzheimer’s remains elusive, the consensus is that taking steps to prevent strokes also reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Several stroke risk factors all caregivers should be aware of include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

Signs of memory loss in seniors should never be dismissed as a normal part of aging. Tests can determine whether cognitive impairment is caused by silent strokes, and lifestyle changes and certain medications can significantly boost your loved one’s cardiovascular and mental health. 

Caring for older adults with serious health issues can be a challenging task. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Sacramento elderly home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call us at (916) 706-0169 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.


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