Cerebral atherosclerosis

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cerebral Atherosclerosis is a specific form of atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by the hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the buildup of plaque. This condition specifically affects the arteries in the brain, leading to a reduction in blood flow and potentially resulting in a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Causes[edit | edit source]

The primary cause of cerebral atherosclerosis is the accumulation of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the arteries. These deposits, or plaques, consist of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, these plaques can harden and narrow the arteries, reducing blood flow to the brain. Factors that can contribute to the development of these plaques include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking.

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

The symptoms of cerebral atherosclerosis can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the specific arteries affected. In some cases, individuals may not experience any symptoms until a significant blockage occurs. When symptoms do occur, they may include headache, difficulty speaking, weakness on one side of the body, and vision problems. In severe cases, cerebral atherosclerosis can lead to a stroke.

Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

Cerebral atherosclerosis is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, patient history, and diagnostic tests. These tests may include blood tests to check for high cholesterol or diabetes, imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI to visualize the arteries, and a cerebral angiogram to identify any blockages.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Treatment for cerebral atherosclerosis typically involves lifestyle changes, medication, and in some cases, surgery. Lifestyle changes may include quitting smoking, eating a healthier diet, and increasing physical activity. Medications may be used to control high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, or prevent blood clots. In severe cases, surgery such as angioplasty or endarterectomy may be necessary to remove or reduce the plaques.

Prevention[edit | edit source]

Prevention of cerebral atherosclerosis largely involves managing risk factors. This includes maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking, and controlling conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD