What is it?

Cerebrovascular disease refers to a group of conditions that affect the blood vessels and blood supply to the brain. Atherosclerosis (the build up of plaque in the arteries) and hypertension are primary causes of cerebrovascular disease.
Conditions that fall under the heading of cerebrovascular disease include:
* Stroke: a condition in which poor blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain causes cell death and permanent damage. The two general categories of strokes are hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding into the brain) or ischemic stroke (insufficient blood flow to the brain usually due to an occlusion of an artery caused by a blood clot).
* Transient ischemic attack (TIA): caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain, usually due to an occlusion of an artery. As opposed to a stroke, the blockage resolves on its own and symptoms disappear by 24 hours.
* Brain Aneurysms: An aneurysm is caused by a weakening of the artery wall, resulting in a bulge in the blood vessel. Aneurysms can rupture and bleed, and the bleeding may cause damage to brain tissue.
* Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM): This refers to an abnormal connection between veins and arteries, that may cause bleeding or other complications. The condition is usually congenital (present at birth).

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- ischemic stroke
- Hypertensive Encephalopathy
- Cerebral Arteritis
- Secondary cerebral arteritis
- Cerebral Atherosclerosis
- Multi infarct dementia
- Stenosis of multiple cerebral arteries
- Vascular dementia
- Moyamoya Disease
- Nonpyogenic Thrombosis of Intracranial Venous Sinus
- Cavernous sinus syndrome
- Cerebrovascular accident due to nonpyogenic cerebral venous thrombosis

Signs & symptoms

symptoms of cerebrovascular disease may vary and depend on the site of injury and its extent. Common symptoms include hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body), hemiparesis (weakness on one side), confusion, severe and abrupt headache, difficulty speaking, loss of vision in one eye, loss of balance, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cerebrovascular disease may include medical history, physical examination including neurological examination, and imaging such as brain CT scans, without contrast enhancement, it diagnoses and detect hemorrhagic strokes. However, it does not always reveal damage from an ischemic stroke, especially in the early stages. An MRI scan may be done as it detects early-stage strokes.

Treatment

A cerebrovascular event is an emergency and must be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. If an acute stroke is diagnosed, Tpa (tissue plasminogen factor) can be administers to break the blood clot up. Surgery sometimes in needed, such as a carotid endarterectomy, to remove the plaque and repair the artery. Another option is a carotid angioplasty, in which a balloon is inserted through a catheter to the artery and by inflating the balloon, blood flow is restored. Then, a stent is placed in the carotid artery to prevent it from collapsing.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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