Atherosclerosis Can Cause a Stroke

A occurs when the brain doesn’t receive the oxygen that it needs. Atherosclerosis, a condition in which excess cholesterol in the bloodstream causes arteries to narrow and harden, can cause a stroke.

In atherosclerosis, LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol“) is deposited in the lining of the arteries and forms a fatty lump known as a plaque. If the plaque occurs in the carotid arteries in the neck, it can block the flow of blood to the brain.

A reduced blood flow to the brain can cause transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), also known as mini-strokes. The plaque can also burst and cause a blood clot to form. The clot can cut off the blood supply, depriving the brain of oxygen, which is known as an ischemic stroke. (About 80% of strokes are ischemic strokes.)

The following information from our A-Z Health Library can help you determine if you should talk to your doctor about atherosclerosis and stroke.

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