Ischemic Cerebrovascular Disease
Ischemic Cerebrovascular disease is when a blood vessel becomes blocked, usually from a clot formed from fat and cholesterol. In an ischemic stroke, blood can’t reach the brain, and brain cells suffer from the lack of nutrients and oxygen that they would normally get.
Ischemic stroke may also be caused by a deformity in the valves of the heart or as a result of a condition called endocarditis, in which the lining inside the heart becomes inflamed. Clots can form on these abnormal surfaces and later travel to and lodge in a small artery in the brain.
The symptoms are the same as those of stroke, but they are only temporary:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause
The Department of Neurosurgery collaborates closely with the Department of Neurology’s stroke team in the care of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease. Many of these patients can benefit greatly from carotid endarterectomies, which are performed under continuous intraoperative EEG monitoring by a neurologist specializing in this area.