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Cerebral Arteriosclerosis

What is Cerebral Arteriosclerosis?

Cerebral arteriosclerosis is a blockage of the arteries in the brain that occurs as a result of thickening and hardening of the artery walls. It is one of the causes of stroke and can also produce aneurysms. A rupture of an aneurysm in the brain can result in a hemorrhage (bleeding). Symptoms include headache, facial pain, or impaired vision. Computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help reveal the presence of cerebral arteriosclerosis before stroke or hemorrhage occurs.

Is there any treatment?

Treatment for cerebral arteriosclerosis may include medications or surgery. Physicians also may recommend treatments to control high blood pressure, withdraw from cigarette smoking, and reduce cholesterol levels, all of which are risk factors for cerebral arteriosclerosis.

What is the prognosis?

Cerebral arteriosclerosis can lead to stroke and brain hemorrhage. Both conditions can be life threatening. Survivors of stroke and hemorrhage may have long-term neurological and motor impairments.
What research is being done?

The NINDS supports an extensive research program on stroke and conditions that can lead to stroke. Much of this research is aimed at finding ways to prevent and treat these conditions.


National Stroke Association
9707 East Easter Lane
Englewood, CO 80112-3747
[email protected]
Tel: 303-649-9299 800-STROKES (787-6537)
Fax: 303-649-1328

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHBLI)
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 31, Rm. 4A21
Bethesda, MD 20892
Tel: 301-592-8573 800-575-WELL (-9355)

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Provided by:
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892