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silent strokes in teenagers?
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liam757 posted:
I just turned 17 and over the past few years or so I feel I've had a significant drop in memory, I sometimes get confused, have dificulty following discussions, and more dificulty finding the word I'm looking for than before. I take much longer to write and perform similar cognitive functions. overall lately I've been less focused and tend to be rather scatterbrained and easily distracted. I get distracted and forget about small tasks and lose trains of thought much more easily now. This perceived decline has always been at the back of my mind and I tend to dwell on the fact that I'm getting dumber after making a careless mistake. I recently heard about silent strokes and thought maybe it's been happening to me. I worry especially because though I am thin and have a high metabolism, my diet consists of very few vegetables and lots of cheap salty foods, so my cholesterol is probably high. I also have not been exercising regularly for the past 6 months.
I do not however have any kind of diabetes or anemic disorder, and have never smoked or gotten drunk. my blood pressure is normal as of my last physical.

I was diagnosed with migraines when I was 13 but haven't had many lately.




my family doesn't have health insurance that would cover an MRI and such so I wonder how worth it it would be to get one.
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Richard C Senelick, MD responded:
Silent strokes ina 17 year old would be almost unheard of and should be way down the list of things to consider. For the price of an MRI you could see multiple specialists and get the benefit of their opinions. It could be something as simple as a thyroid problem. It is also possible that this is a migraine phenomenon. You may nbeed to need to see a neurologist at some point. I would start with seeing a good Internist for a complete check up. He or She will do some basic labortory studies.
We tend to "jump the gun" and think of unusual and rare things. This not only leads to anxiety, but also to expensive and unnecessary tests.

Start with the basics and I suspect their is a straight forward answer.

Good Luck
After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.


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Richard C. Senelick M.D. is a physician specializing in both neurology and the subspecialty of neurorehabilitation. He did his undergraduate and medic...More

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