Cerebrovascular disease refers to disorders of the blood vessels that supply blood flow to the brain. While many of these disorders can cause what is generally referred to as "stroke", they vary quite a bit in their presentation and specific disease characteristics. For this reason, "stroke" can be a confusing term and is often misused. The term "stroke" originally meant a neurological condition which occurs suddenly, like a stroke of lightning. However, this can refer to many different underlying causes. The most common cause of "stroke" is what is called cerebral infarction which is damage to a part of the brain because of a blockage of the normal blood flow. The brain needs blood and therefore it will fail to function normally when an infarction occurs. However, other forms of "stroke" include hemorrhage, or bleeding, into or around the brain. These forms of "stroke" can be quite different in their symptoms and underlying pathology that caused the bleeding.
Specific Types of Neurovascular Disease
Below is a list of specific cerebrovascular disease conditions, each of which link to further information about them. There is also more information to help clarify what is meant by stroke.
Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)This abnormal "tuft" of blood vessels that connect arteries and veins can occur in and around the brain and can bleed or cause neurological symptoms such as seizures.
Brain Aneurysm (Cerebral Aneurysm): Aneurysms are a common type of cerebrovascular disease. They are out-pouchings of the wall of an artery that supplies the brain which can rupture and bleed, causing subarachnoid hemorrhage.
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Important Note: This site is not intended to offer medical advice. Every patient is different, and only your personal physician can help to counsel you about what is best for your situation. What we offer is general reference information about various disorders and treatments for your education.