How does atherosclerosis cause an ischemic stroke?

Benjamin T. Cohen, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Atherosclerosis of the arteries of the neck and brain can cause a stroke. In this video, Ben Cohen, MD, a cardiologist at West Hills Hospital, describes how this hardening of the arteries in both places can limit blood flow to the brain.
Atherosclerosis (buildup of fats on artery walls) can eventually restrict blood flow to a portion of the brain, thus resulting in ischemic stroke.

Atherosclerosis is a condition in which plaque, or fat, accumulates in the arteries. This can either restrict blood flow or block it completely, leading to an ischemic stroke. People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, as well as people who smoke, are at higher risk for atherosclerosis and strokes.

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