Cerebrovascular disease refers to conditions that affect the circulation of blood to the brain. Cerebrovascular disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis – a hardening of the arteries. The most common forms of cerebrovascular disease are: cerebral thrombosis, cerebral embolism and cerebral hemorrhage.
During a cerebrovascular attack, you may experience flaccid paralysis followed by spasticity and increased muscle tone. Other signs of a cerebrovascular attack can include: loss of gag reflex, having communication problems, vomiting, seizures, fever, ECG abnormalities, confusion that leads to a complete loss of consciousness, labored or irregular respirations, increased blood pressure, and bowel and bladder incontinence.
See all 20 of our heart healthy video tips from UMMC experts.
There are several things that can increase your risk of cerebrovascular disease. They include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Atrial fibrillation (a form of irregular heartbeat)
- Poor diet
- High blood cholesterol
- Lack of exercise
- Being overweight or obese
- Excessive alcohol consumption
In order to best prevent cerebrovascular disease, it is recommended that you address any of the items listed above that pertain to you and aim to make healthy lifestyle changes.