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A PUBLIC INFORMATION
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Cerebral Arteriosclerosis

Cerebral arteriosclerosis is the result of thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries in the brain. 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 becomes caught in the narrow passage, blood flow to the brain can become blocked and cause an ischemic stroke. When the thickening and hardening is uneven, 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 neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. Personality changes in the elderly, such as apathy, weeping, transient befuddlement, or irritability, might indicate that cerebral arteriosclerosis is present in the brain. Computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain can help reveal the presence of cerebral arteriosclerosis before ischemic strokes, hemorrhagic strokes, or vascular dementia develop.

Treatment

Treatment for cerebral arteriosclerosis can include medications or surgery. Physicians also may recommend treatments to help people control high blood pressure, quit cigarette smoking, and reduce cholesterol levels, all of which are risk factors for cerebral arteriosclerosis.

Prognosis

Cerebral arteriosclerosis can lead to life threatening health events such as ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes. People who survive stroke may have long-term neurological and motor impairments.

Research

The NINDS supports an extensive research program on stroke and conditions that can lead to stroke. Much of this research is aimed at finding ways to prevent and treat conditions such as cerebral arteriosclerosis.

Organizations

National Stroke Association
National non-profit organization that offers education, services and community-based activities in prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery. Serves the public and professional communities, people at risk, patients and their health care providers, stroke survivors, and their families and caregivers.

9707 East Easter Lane
Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112-3747
info@stroke.org
http://www.stroke.org
Tel: Centennial
Fax: 303-649-1328

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Drive, Rm. 4A21 MSC 2480
Bethesda, MD 20892-2480
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Tel: Bethesda

Content Provided By

NINDS logo

NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.