Covert Neurological Symptoms Associated With Silent Infarcts From Midlife to Older Age

The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Stroke.ahajournals: Beverly G. Windham, MD, MHS; Michael E. Griswold, PhD; Dean Shibata, MD;Alan Penman, MD, PhD; Diane J. Catellier, PhD; Thomas H. Mosley Jr, PhD – March 1, 2012.


Background and Purpose—Unrecognized or unreported stroke-like symptoms, called covert symptoms, occur in persons free of clinical stroke. Whether covert symptoms are associated with subclinical brain infarcts (SBIs) is unknown. This study examined the association between covert stroke-like symptoms and SBI/stroke in persons with no history of stroke or transient ischemic attack.

Methods—A total of 1881 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) participants free of clinical stroke or transient ischemic attack (40% male, 50% black, 47–70 years) were queried for covert symptoms and underwent cerebral MRI during the baseline MRI visit. Symptoms were reassessed after 3 years at Visit 4 (n=1001; 39% male, 50% black) and approximately 10 years with a follow-up MRI (n=1006; 40% male, 50% black, 61–83 years). Read More