Cerebrovascular disease: causes, symptoms and treatment

Cerebrovascular disease occurs due to various reasons. Atherosclerosis is one type of cerebrovascular disease. It occurs when high cholesterol levels, along with inflammation in the arteries of the brain, cause cholesterol to build up in the vessel as a thick, waxy plaque that narrows or blocks blood flow in the arteries.


Signs and symptoms of cerebrovascular disease

The signs and symptoms of cerebrovascular disease or a cerebrovascular attack depend on where the blockage or damage occurs and how much cerebral tissue is affected. Different events may have different effects but common signs and symptoms include a severe and sudden headache, paralysis of one side (hemiplegia), weakness on one side (hemiparesis), confusion and difficulty in communicating including slurred speech. Early treatment with medication like tPA (clot buster) can minimise brain damage. Other treatments focus on limiting complications and preventing additional strokes, he added.


Risks

“People suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension are more prone to cerebrovascular disease. It is more likely among males aged above 65 years,” said Y Sushma, a neurologist at Neuro Center. People should avoid certain drugs which can make the blood clot and raise the risk of ischemic stroke. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may increase the risk of an attack in a person who already has atherosclerosis or carotid artery disease, she added.


Treatment

In the case of an acute stroke, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) should be administered. This breaks up the blood clots.
Rapid assessment and treatment is crucial, because some medications for stroke must be given within a certain time from the onset of symptoms.

 

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Source: The New Indian Express | September 25, 2017

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