What is cerebral arteriosclerosis?

Piedmont Heart Institute
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Cerebral arteriosclerosis is the result of the thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries in the brain. The symptoms of cerebral arteriosclerosis include headache, facial pain, and impaired vision.

Cerebral arteriosclerosis can cause serious health problems. If the walls of an artery are too thick or a blood clot is caught in the narrow passage, the blood flow to the brain can be blocked and cause an ischemic stroke. When the thickening and hardening is uneven, the arterial walls can develop bulges (called aneurysms). If a bulge ruptures, bleeding in the brain can cause a hemorrhagic stroke. Both types of stroke can be fatal.

Cerebral arteriosclerosis is also related to a condition known as vascular dementia, in which small, symptom-free strokes cause cumulative damage and death to the neurons in the brain. Personality changes in the elderly, such as apathy, weeping, transient befuddlement, and irritability, might indicate that cerebral arteriosclerosis is present in the brain. Computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain can reveal the presence of cerebral arteriosclerosis before the development of an ischemic stroke, a hemorrhagic stroke, or vascular dementia.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes.

Continue Learning about Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis

A common cause of heart attacks and strokes, arteriosclerosis causes a fatty substance to accumulate inside your arteries.Called plaque, the fatty substance hardens and narrows the arteries, which limits the amount of oxygenated b...

lood that can get to your heart and the rest of your body. When blood is restricted, it can lead to chest pain, a heart attack and pain or numbness in the legs, arms and pelvis, a condition called peripheral arterial disease. The plaque can also rupture and lead to bleeding in the brain, which is medically known as a stroke. Doctors believe that the cells that line our arteries become damaged by high blood pressure, smoking or high cholesterol, which allows plaque to build up in the blood vessel. A family history of heart disease also increases your risk to develop this disease.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.