Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What Occurs When An Artery In The Brain Is Blocked

Don't Miss

What Lasting Effects Can A Stroke Cause

The effects of a stroke depend on the extent and the location of damage in the brain. Among the many types of disabilities that can result from a stroke are:

  • Inability to move part of the body
  • Weakness in part of the body
  • Numbness in part of the body
  • Inability to speak or understand words
  • difficulty communicating
  • Memory loss, confusion or poor judgment
  • Change in personality; emotional problems

Causes And Risk Factors

  • Previous TIA
  • Atrial fibrillation

Silent cerebrovascular disease is a common condition affecting older adults and is associated with risk for brain ischemiaoften referred to as “silent strokes.”

Since silent strokes don’t produce clinically recognized stroke symptoms, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association jointly released guidelines to guide clinicians in using imaging tests to evaluate the risk for silent cerebrovascular disease.

Clogs And Clots: Causes Of Ischemic Stroke

When an artery that carries blood to the brain becomes clogged or blocked, an ischemic stroke can occur. Arteries may be blocked by fatty deposits due to atherosclerosis. Arteries in the neck, particularly the internal carotid arteries, are a common site for atheromas.

Arteries may also be blocked by a blood clot . Blood clots may form on an atheroma in an artery. Clots may also form in the heart of people with a heart disorder. Part of a clot may break off and travel through the bloodstream . It may then block an artery that supplies blood to the brain, such as one of the cerebral arteries.

Blood clots in a brain artery do not always cause a stroke. If the clot breaks up spontaneously within less than 15 to 30 minutes, brain cells do not die and people’s symptoms resolve. Such events are called transient ischemic attacks .

If an artery narrows very gradually, other arteries sometimes enlarge to supply blood to the parts of the brain normally supplied by the clogged artery. Thus, if a clot occurs in an artery that has developed collateral arteries, people may not have symptoms.

Blockage And Its Symptoms

The precise signs and symptoms depend on the type of artery affected, and are usually manifested when there is a substantial or total blockage in the artery. Given below is a list of the commonly affected arteries, the organs/tissues which depend on them for blood supply, and the corresponding symptoms indicative of a blockage.

Clogged Arteries Start With Small Depositions Of Fatty Acids Along The Endothelial Lining Of Blood If These Break They Travel Down Your Vessel Until It Gets Small Enough That The Chunk Blocks Blood The Atherosclerosis Of The Arteries Is Not Generally Broken Down


There are no quick fixes for melting away plaque, but people can make key lifestyle changes to stop more of it accumulating and to improve their heart health. A subarachnoid haemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the subarachnoid space. When an artery inside the skull becomes blocked by plaque or disease, it is called cerebral artery stenosis. These risks are minimized using small filters called embolic protection devices in hyperperfusion, or the sudden increased blood flow through a previously blocked carotid artery and into the arteries of the brain, can cause a hemorrhagic stroke. Intracerebral hemorrhage is bleeding within the brain from a broken blood vessel. A small tube called a catheter is usually passed up an artery, often from your groin, into the brain. It does but it happens so infrequently it is best to say that it does not. This is when one of the heart arteries suddenly squeezes shut or almost shut. Thus it is the stroke that blocks an artery in the brain. A tia occurs when there is low blood flow or a clot briefly blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain. In the carotids if these small clot break off and shoot into the small arteries of the brain those. With a tia, you may have the same symptoms as you would have for a stroke. .which happens when a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked, or bleeding , which occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

How A Stroke Affects You

The Sides of the Brain

The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body.

You use the left side of your brain to move the right side of your body, figure out math and science problems and understand what you read and hear. You may have trouble doing these things if you have a stroke that damages parts of the left side of your brain.

The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.

You use the right side to move the left side of your body and do creative things like paint a picture, appreciate art or music, recognize the emotion in someones voice or find where you plan to go. You may have trouble doing these things if you have a stroke in the right side of your brain.

How Is A Diagnosis Made

When an individual is brought to the emergency room with an apparent stroke, the doctor will learn as much about the patient symptoms, current and previous medical problems, current medications, and family history. The doctor also will perform a physical exam. If the patient can’t communicate, a family member or friend will be asked to provide this information. Diagnostic tests are used to help the doctors determine what is the cause and how to treat the stroke.

Brain Ischemia Types And Causes

editorial processMedical Review Board

Brain ischemia, also known as cerebral ischemia or ischemia, occurs when there is an insufficient amount of blood flow to the brain. Oxygen and vital nutrients are carried in the blood through arteriesthe blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to every part of the body.

The arteries that provide blood to the brain follow a certain pathway that ensures every region of the brain is adequately supplied with blood from one or more arteries. When an artery in the brain becomes blocked or bleeds, this leads to a lower oxygen supply to the region of the brain that relies on that particular artery.

Even a temporary deficit in oxygen supply can impair the function of the oxygen-deprived region of the brain. In fact, if the brain cells are deprived of oxygen for more than a few minutes, severe damage can occur, which may result in the death of the brain tissue. This type of brain tissue death is also known as a cerebral infarction or ischemic stroke.

How Is Carotid Artery Disease Treated

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:

  • How old you are

  • How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies

  • How long the condition is expected to last

  • Your opinion or preference

If a carotid artery is less than 50% narrowed, it is often treated with medicine and lifestyle changes. If the artery is between 50% and 70% narrowed, medicine or surgery may be used, depending on your case.

Medical treatment for carotid artery disease may include:

How Serious Is Cvst

CVST is an extremely rare but serious type of stroke caused by a blood clot in a part of the brain known as the venous sinus, involving veins that carry blood away from the brain. Spontaneous CVST is estimated to affect 5 of every 1 million people in the world annually. It can cause serious disability or even death.

How Do Blood Clots Form

Blood has many components that can rapidly aggregate to form a semi-solid to solid plug. This is intended to stop any blood loss when there is damage to a blood vessel. There are several steps in this mechanism to stop blood loss which is known as . The most prominent of these phases is the clotting of blood which provides a more long term seal until the blood vessel can repair itself.

A blood clot may arise when there is injury to the blood vessel without any break in the vessel wall. This can be due to damage to the inner lining of the artery seen with conditions like hypertension or  atherosclerotic plaques associated with conditions like high blood lipids . Various other pathologies may also be responsible, like thickening of the blood vessel or blood diseases that cause the blood cells to clump together.

As mentioned, the blood clot may arise within one of the cerebral arteries that are slightly damaged or have an atherosclerotic plaque, or in the backdrop of other diseases. Clots that arise at the site are known as a thrombus and if it causes a cerebral infarction then it is referred to as an thrombotic stroke. When the clot is formed at another site, then dislodges and travels through the bloodstream only to obstruct one of the brain arteries, it is then referred to as an embolic stroke.

Tias Not Something To Ignore

Often referred to as a mini stroke, a transient ischemic attack happens when a blockage in a blood vessel stops the flow of blood to part of your brain.

Though blood flow is usually blocked for fewer than five minutes, this event is just as serious as a major stroke. TIAs are usually caused by blood clots and are often warning signs of an ischemic stroke in fact, over one-third of people have a stroke within a year of having a TIA. Someone having a TIA or a major ischemic stroke might show the same symptoms, so its vital to get emergency medical help as soon as possible, advises Dr. Ermak. Though TIAs often dont cause any damage, getting treatment for a TIA can help you work toward preventing a major stroke in the future.

What Happens When Posterior Cerebral Artery Is Blocked


Posterior cerebral arteryposterior cerebral artery

The posterior cerebral arteries arise from the basilar artery . The posterior cerebral artery is one of a pair of arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the occipital lobe, part of the back of the human brain.

Also, what causes cerebral artery occlusion? The most common causes of arterial occlusion involving the major cerebral arteries are emboli, most commonly arising from atherosclerotic arterial narrowing at the bifurcation of the common carotid artery, from cardiac sources, or from atheroma in the aortic arch and a combination of atherosclerotic stenosis

Subsequently, question is, what does blockage in the brain mean?

Overview. Intracranial stenosis is a narrowing of an artery inside the brain. A buildup of plaque inside the artery wall reduces blood flow to the brain. Atherosclerosis that is severe enough to cause symptoms carries a high risk of stroke and can lead to brain damage and death.

What is a posterior Stroke?

Posterior stroke. A posterior circulation stroke means the stroke affects the back area of your brain. This includes your brain stem, cerebellum and occiptal lobes . Changes that may occur include the following.

The Outlook For Hemorrhagic Stroke Patients

Your outlook for recovery depends on the severity of the stroke, the amount of tissue damage, and how soon you were able to get treatment. The recovery period is long for many people, lasting for months or even years. However, most people with small strokes and no additional complications during the hospital stay are able to function well enough to live at home within weeks.

Causes And Types Of Strokes

A stroke may occur if an artery bursts or is blocked. This may prevent blood flow to the brain.

Your brain gets blood mainly through:

  • two arteries in your neck
  • two arteries near your spine

These four arteries branch into other blood vessels that supply your brain with blood.

If blood cannot flow to your brain, your brain cells will start to die. Stroke symptoms will start to appear.

There are two types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.

Blocked Arteries: Symptoms And Treatment

‘Blocked arteries’ refers to the clogging of arteries due to plaque deposition in the arterial walls, which hampers blood flow. Blockages in the major arteries and their consequences, as well as the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have been discussed in the following article.

General Health

Blocked arteries refers to the clogging of arteries due to plaque deposition in the arterial walls, which hampers blood flow. Blockages in the major arteries and their consequences, as well as the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have been discussed in the following article.

The human circulatory system is a complex system involving the heart and a network of blood vessels. It is responsible for:

  • collecting oxygenated blood from lungs, and supplying it to every tissue of the body via arteries.
  • collecting the deoxygenated blood from body tissues via veins, and circulating it to the lungs for oxygenation.

Healthy arteries have a smooth lining. However, sometimes small tears in the inner arterial lining causes some of the circulating substances to accumulate in the arterial walls. These include fats, cholesterol, calcium, fibrin , inflammatory cells, proteins and cellular wastes. The deposits of these cells and molecules harden to form plaques, which lead to clogging of arteries, and narrowing of arterial lumen.

Types Of Stroke And Treatment

Ischemic Stroke

Ischemic stroke is by far the most common type of stroke, accounting for a large majority of strokes. There are two types of ischemic stroke: thrombotic and embolic. A thrombotic stroke occurs when a blood clot, called a thrombus, blocks an artery to the brain and stops blood flow. An embolic stroke occurs when a piece of plaque or thrombus travels from its original site and blocks an artery downstream. The material that has moved is called an embolus. How much of the brain is damaged or affected depends on exactly how far downstream in the artery the blockage occurs.

In most cases, the carotid or vertebral arteries do not become completely blocked and a small stream of blood trickles to the brain. The reduced blood flow to the brain starves the cells of nutrients and quickly leads to a malfunctioning of the cells. As a part of the brain stops functioning, symptoms of a stroke occur. During a stroke, there is a core area where blood is almost completely cut off and the cells die within five minutes. However, there is a much larger area known as the ischemic penumbra that surrounds the core of dead cells. The ischemic penumbra consists of cells that are impaired and cannot function, but are still alive. These cells are called idling cells, and they can survive in this state for about three hours.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Transient Ischemic Attack

What Is Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency

Vertebrobasilar insufficiency is a condition characterized by poor blood flow to the posterior portion of the brain, which is fed by two vertebral arteries that join to become the basilar artery. Blockage of these arteries occurs over time through a process called atherosclerosis, or the build-up of plaque. Plaques are made up of deposits of cholesterol, calcium and other cellular components. They not only make the arteries hard, they grow over time and can obstruct or even block the flow of blood to the brain.

The vertebrobasilar arteries supply oxygen and glucose to the parts of the brain responsible for consciousness, vision, coordination, balance and many other essential functions. Both restricted blood flow and the complete blockage of it called ischemic events have serious consequences for brain cells. Ischemia occurs when blood flow to the brain damages cells. An infarction occurs when the cells die. A transient ischemic attack , or mini-stroke, is an ischemic event that results in the temporary loss of brain function. If the resulting loss of brain function is permanent, it s called a stroke . A stroke can either be caused by blockage in the vertebral or basilar artery or the breaking off of a piece of plaque that travels downstream and blocks a portion of the blood flow to the brain.

Basic anatomy

Who Is At Risk For Carotid Artery Disease

Risk factors associated with atherosclerosis include:

  • Older age

  • Diet high in saturated fat

  • Lack of exercise

Although these factors increase a person’s risk, they do not always cause the disease. Knowing your risk factors can help you make lifestyle changes and work with your doctor to reduce chances you will get the disease.

Tests To Identify The Cause

Identifying the precise cause of an ischemic stroke is important. If the blockage is a blood clot, another stroke may occur unless the underlying disorder is corrected. For example, if blood clots result from an abnormal heart rhythm, treating that disorder can prevent new clots from forming and causing another stroke.

Tests for causes may include the following:

  • to look for abnormal heart rhythms

  • Continuous ECG monitoring to record the heart rate and rhythm continuously for 24 hours , which may detect abnormal heart rhythms that occur unpredictably or briefly

  • to check the heart for blood clots, pumping or structural abnormalities, and valve disorders

  • Imaging testscolor Doppler ultrasonography, magnetic resonance angiography, CT angiography, or cerebral to determine whether arteries, especially the internal carotid arteries, are blocked or narrowed

  • Blood tests to check for anemia, polycythemia, blood clotting disorders, vasculitis, and some infections and for risk factors such as high cholesterol levels or diabetes

  • Urine drug screen for cocaine and amphetamines

Imaging tests enable doctors to determine how narrowed the carotid arteries are and thus to estimate the risk of a subsequent stroke or TIA. Such information helps determine which treatments are needed.

Because CT angiography is less invasive, it has largely replaced cerebral angiography done with a catheter. The exceptions are endovascular procedures .

What Treatments Are Available

Clogged Arteries: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment ...

Treatment for stroke depends on whether the patient is diagnosed with an ischemic or  hemorrhagic stroke. In either case the person must get to a hospital immediately for the treatments to work.

Ischemic stroke treatments can be divided into emergency treatments to reverse a blockage and preventive treatments to prevent stroke.

Emergency procedures

Clot buster drugs Thrombolytic “clot-buster” drugs help restore blood flow by dissolving the clot that is blocking the artery. The most common “clot-buster” drug is tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA for short. TPA is an enzyme found naturally in the body that dissolves clots. Doctors inject extra tPA into the bloodstream to speed up this process. To be effective, tPA should be given as quickly as possible. Patients who received tPA within 3 to 4 hours of onset of stroke symptoms were at least 33% more likely to recover from their stroke with little or no disability after 3 months .

  • A stent retriever is a wire mesh tube, like a stent, that is attached to a long wire. When the tube is opened in the blocked artery, the clot gets stuck in the mesh.  The doctor then pulls out the mesh using the long wire, pulling out the clot with it.
  • An aspiration catheter is like a vacuum cleaner that is attached to a special suction unit and used to suck out the clot.

When To Contact A Medical Professional

Stroke is a medical emergency that needs to be treated right away. The acronym F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember signs of stroke and what to do if you think a stroke has occurred. The most important action to take is to call 911 or the local emergency number right away for emergency assistance.

F.A.S.T. stands for:

Stroke Signs And Symptoms To Look For

When someone has a stroke, get medical help as soon as possible to restore blood flow to the brain or stop the bleeding. These symptoms signal that someone may be having a stroke:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness in your face, arm or leg on one side of your body
  • Speech difficulty or inability to understand speech
  • Sudden loss of balance or coordination
  • Vision loss or dimness in one eye
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Sudden and severe headache with no cause

You can also use the the acronym BE FAST to remember the signs:

  • Balance difficulties

Know The Symptoms Of A Stroke

  • Weakness. You may feel a sudden weakness, tingling, or a loss of feeling on one side of your face or body including your arm or leg.

  • Vision problems. You may have sudden double vision or trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

  • Speech problems. You may have sudden trouble talking, slurred speech, or problems understanding others.

  • Movement problems. You may have sudden trouble walking, dizziness, a feeling of spinning, a loss of balance, a feeling of falling, or blackouts.

Remember: If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 and your doctor as soon as possible.

BE FAST is an easy way to remember the signs of a stroke. When you see these signs, you will know that you need to call 911 fast. 

BE FAST stands for:

  • B is for balance. Sudden onset of loss of balance, coordination, or dizziness. 
  • E is for eyes. Sudden onset of vision loss, blurred vision, or double vision. 
  • F is for face drooping. One side of the face is drooping or numb. When the person smiles, the smile is uneven.
  • A is for arm weakness. One arm is weak or numb. When the person lifts both arms at the same time, one arm may drift downward.
  • S is for speech difficulty. You may notice slurred speech or difficulty speaking. The person can’t repeat a simple sentence correctly when asked.
  • T is for time to dial 911. If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if they go away, call 911 right away. Make note of the time the symptoms first appeared.

Causes Of A Hemorrhagic Stroke

There are two possible causes of a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. The most common cause is an . An aneurysm occurs when a section of a blood vessel becomes enlarged from chronic and dangerously high blood pressure or when a blood vessel wall is weak, which is usually congenital. This ballooning leads to thinning of the vessel wall, and ultimately to a rupture.

A rarer cause of an ICH is an arteriovenous malformation . This occurs when arteries and veins are connected abnormally without capillaries between them. AVMs are congenital. This means theyre present at birth, but theyre not hereditary. Its unknown exactly why they occur in some people.

How Stroke Drugs Work

The drugs used for treating stroke typically work in different ways.

Some stroke drugs actually break up existing blood clots. Others help prevent blood clots from forming in your blood vessels. Some work to adjust high blood pressure and levels to help prevent blood flow blockages.

The drug that your doctor prescribes will depend on the kind of stroke you had and its cause. Stroke drugs can also be used to help prevent a second stroke in people whove already had one.

Warning Symptoms Of Stroke

Because early treatment of stroke can help limit loss of function and sensation, everyone should know what the early symptoms of stroke are.

People who have any of the following symptoms should see a doctor immediately, even if the symptom goes away quickly:

  • Sudden weakness or paralysis on one side of the body

  • Sudden loss of sensation or abnormal sensations on one side of the body

  • Sudden difficulty speaking, including difficulty coming up with words and sometimes slurred speech

  • Sudden confusion, with difficulty understanding speech

  • Sudden dimness, blurring, or loss of vision, particularly in one eye

  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance and coordination, leading to falls

One or more of these symptoms are typically present in both hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes. Symptoms of a transient ischemic attack are the same, but they usually disappear within minutes and rarely last more than 1 hour.

Symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke may also include the following:

  • Sudden severe headache

  • Temporary or persistent loss of consciousness

  • Very high blood pressure

Symptoms Of Clogged Arteries

Clogged arteries are caused by atherosclerosis, which develops over time as plaques formed from fats, minerals, , and more build up inside the walls of your arteries. These buildups cause the inner tunnels, called lumens, of the arteries to become smaller and narrower.

As a result, the heart has to use more pressure to pump blood through smaller vessels. This increases blood pressure and puts strain on the pumping ability of the heart.

Symptoms of blocked or clogged arteries can include:

  • Weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vision changes

More articles

Popular Articles