A new study by researchers at the University of Alabama has an important new warning that could save your life. The details, published in the journal "Stroke" reveals that as many as 10 million Americans may have suffered a small stroke without even knowing about it. More than 600,000 people are diagnosed with a stroke each year in the United States, but many more suffer a miniature stroke - most without even realizing it. These so-called "silent strokes" are milder than typical strokes, and pass quickly so people often don't recognize them. A new study of more than 16,000 people reveals this disorder is surprisingly common. Nearly one in five adults over age 45 reported symptoms of hidden stroke but had never been diagnosed. What's more, these small strokes do cause lasting harm -- people who suffered one scored about 6 per cent lower on a test of mental function. Warning signs of silent stroke include weakness or numbness on one side of the body, and trouble walking or talking. Sometimes patients also experience blurred vision or a terrible headache. Doctors say that people with these symptoms should seek treatment immediately because it could be a sign of a major stroke to come.
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