Cerebrovascular Disease

By: Ashlee Rollins

What is Cerebrovascular Disease?

Cerebro refers to the large part of the brain

Vascular refers to arteries and veins

The term Cerebrovascular Disease includes all disorders in which an area of the brain is temporarily or permanently affected by ischemia (inadequate blood flow to an organ or part of the body) or bleeding and one or more of the cerebral blood vessels are involved in the pathological process

Cerebrovascular Disease includes stroke, carotid stenosis, vertebral stenosis, and intracranial stenosis, aneurysms, and vascular malformations.

How is Cerebrovascular Disease Diagnosed?

Tests include:

  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cartoid Duplex
  • CT Scan
  • Doppler Ultrasound
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap)
  • MRI or MRA


A stroke is an abrupt interruption of constant blood flow to the brain that causes loss of neurological function. Stroke can be caused by a blockage which leads to the more common ischemic stroke, or by a bleed in the brain which leads to the more fatal hemorrhagic stroke

What are the Symptoms of Stroke?

Symptoms may include

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Unusually severe headache
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Numbness or Weakness in limbs, especially on one side
  • Abnormal or slurred speech
  • Difficulty with comprehension
  • Trouble with vision
  • Loss of balance and coordination

What are the different types of Strokes?

Ischemic: most common stroke; makes up 80% of stroke patients

Hemorrhagic: normally requires surgery to relieve pressure

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): temporary and leaves no permanent damage

What are the risk factors?

  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Carotid or other artery disease
  • History of TIA's
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

What are some Uncontrollable risk factors?

Age: all ages are susceptible to stroke, but the older you are the more at risk you become

Gender: Strokes are more common in men than in women

Genetic Predisposition: Family history makes you more prone to Strokes

Race: African Americans are more prone to strokes than Caucasians because they are more prone to diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

stroke animation