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July 2009

Capturing the Scope of Stroke: Silent, Whispering, and Overt

Arch Neurol. 2009;66(7):819-820. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2009.103

Traditional diagnosis of stroke is based on clinical symptoms rather than structural evidence of brain damage and an arbitrary time criterion to distinguish stroke from a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Overt stroke is indeed often easily diagnosed by the acute onset of focal neurological deficits. Use of these long-standing operational definitions has proved invaluable for clinical practice, health policy planning, and epidemiological research.1

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