If your doctor diagnoses you with atherosclerosis, it's essential that you learn as much about the condition as possible. Atherosclerosis is a type of cerebrovascular disease, or condition that affects the brain's blood vessels and cells. Without prompt treatment or prevention, atherosclerosis can lead to bleeding in the brain and other dangerous conditions. Learn more about atherosclerosis and its treatment options.
You might not consider it, but the blood vessels in your body play a critical role in the health and safety of your brain. Blood vessels, such as arteries and capillaries, supply your brain with oxygenated blood and nutrients. However, cerebrovascular diseases like atherosclerosis have the potential to affect the brain by cutting off blood supply to it.
Atherosclerosis generally occurs when cholesterol, fat, and other substances (plaque) clog up the body's arteries. Arteries transport blood from your heart to the rest of your body's organs, including your brain. However, plaque can build up inside your arteries and block them. If blockages occur inside the brain, it can be potentially life-threatening.
The blockages in the brain's arteries can break loose, bleed, or enlarge. The cells inside the brain won't receive enough oxygen to function. In severe cases, the brain's cells can die.
To protect your brain from the issues above, it's critical that you seek additional care for your condition.
How Do You Treat Atherosclerosis?
Your regular doctor will most likely prescribe medications to remove or lower the plaque in your arteries. However, you still want to see a physician who specializes in cerebrovascular diseases. A specialist can examine your brain's arteries to see if your condition has affected them.
Depending on the cerebrovascular specialist you see, you may need to undergo CT scans or carotid ultrasounds to examine your brain's arteries. The scans look for internal bleeding, blood clots, and other signs of cerebrovascular damage. If something does show up in the tests, a doctor will take steps to treat you.
Your treatment may vary, depending on the details of your diagnostic tests. Some adults require medications to prevent clotting in the brain, while other patients may require surgery to become healthy and safe again. A number of surgeons or brain treatment doctors use stents and "clips" to help their patients. These types of treatments can redirect blood flow away from a dangerous area of the brain, or the treatments can isolate blood clots so that they dissipate or deflate.
If you wish to learn more about atherosclerosis or cerebrovascular disease in general, contact, a brain treatment specialist today, such as at Allegheny Brain And Spine Surgeons.