Cerebrovascular Disease

Overview

This refers to a group of conditions that affect the arteries supplying oxygen to the brain, causing restricted blood flow to affected areas of the brain. Some of the conditions that may cause cerebrovascular disease include vessel narrowing (stenosis), clot formation (thrombosis), blockage (embolism), vessel rupture (hemorrhage), aneurysms, and vascular malformations which commonly results in a stroke. These conditions may be identified through diagnostic imaging tests like Cerebral Angiograms and Magnetic Resonance Angiograms (MRA).

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of cerebrovascular disease depend on the location of the hemorrhage, thrombus, or embolus and the extent of cerebral tissue affected. However, since strokes are common in cerebral vascular disease stroke symptoms, which are usually sudden, include:

  • Dizziness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Unusually severe headache
  • Confusion, disorientation or memory loss
  • Numbness, weakness in an arm, leg or the face, especially on one side
  • Abnormal or slurred speech
  • Difficulty with comprehension
  • Loss of vision or difficulty seeing
  • Loss of balance, coordination, or the ability to walk

Treatments

Since high blood pressure is a contributing cause to cerebral vascular disease medications may be prescribed to maintain blood pressure. Other treatment options include surgeries like endovascular surgery and vascular surgery (for future stroke prevention), Carotid Endarterectomy (to remove plaque), and Carotid Angioplasty (to reopen an artery too increase blood flow).