What Are Cerebrovascular Diseases?

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Heart diseases rival most forms of cancer as a leading group of illnesses that affect most people not just in Singapore but the rest of the world as well. One type of heart disease is called cerebrovascular diseases which affect not just the veins and arteries but the brain as well. “Cerebro” means brain while “vascular” refers to the arteries and veins. When the two words are combined, cerebrovascular, it refers to the flow of blood to the brain.

Whereas ischaemia heart disease affects the level of blood and oxygen in the heart, cerebrovascular diseases affect the correct flow of blood and supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. There are a number of things that can happen to a person when the flow is stopped or interrupted.

What Happens During Ischaemia or Bleeding

An area of the brain will be affected if there is ischaemia or bleeding. Ischaemia means the lack of sufficient blood flow in a part of the body. Usually there is one or more cerebral blood vessels that are involved in the process. There may be a restriction in the blood flow as you will learn when you www.harleystreet.sg/blog/heart-health-get-screened-by-a-good-cardiologist-in-singapore/ through a narrowing of a blood vessel called stenosis, a blockage in the vessel called embolism, clot formation in the brain or thrombosis, or a rupture in a blood vessel called haemorrhage. The result of lack of blood and oxygen or a bleeding in a part of a brain may be stroke, vertebral stenosis, aneurysms, carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis and vascular malformations.

Types of Cerebrovascular Diseases

Transient Ischaemic Attack

Transient ischaemic attack may be caused by a temporary blockage of an artery to the brain. The blockage will disappear soon and will leave no lasting negative effects on the person, however. You might wonder why you will experience the same symptoms in a stroke, but your cardiologist in Singapore will tell you that it’s fine. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the symptoms. It could be a stroke and not a transient ischaemic attack after all. The cardiologist in Singapore will recommend heart screening tests to determine the source of the attack and develop a prevention treatment for you.

Stroke

A stroke is caused by a blockage or bleeding in the brain. The result is an abrupt interruption in the flow of blood and consequently, the loss of the normal brain function. There are two types of strokes; ischaemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage; and hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by a bleeding in a part of the brain. The person will experience a severe headache, dizziness or nausea, numbness and weakness in the face or arm or leg, confusion and disorientation, slurred speech, loss of balance and vision, and loss of comprehension. Get to the nearest hospital with the best cardiologist as soon as possible.

1. Ischaemic stroke is further divided into two types; embolic and thrombotic. Embolic stroke is the result of a plaque blocking an artery. This plaque, also called thrombus, usually travels from where it originated down to another part of the artery. Thrombotic stroke on the other hand is caused by a blood clot in an artery to the brain.

2. Haemorrhagic stroke is a result of high blood pressure, vascular malformation, rupture of an aneurysm or a side effect of some medication. The person experiences a bleeding in the brain tissue which eventually turns into a clot.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is the loss of the person’s mental ability. It is the result of the damage to the brain due to the lack of adequate blood and oxygen supply. The brain cells may be permanently damaged because the lack of blood will kill off normal functioning. Patients with this condition have suffered either from a stroke or multiple strokes. In some cases, however, vascular dementia is a result of the gradual narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain.

Subarachnoid Haemorrhage

The subarachnoid haemorrhage may be connected to a haemorrhagic stroke which causes a blood clot to form in a part of the brain. The subarachnoid haemorrhage is the result of the bleeding that fills up the cerebrospinal fluid spaces in the patient’s brain. When this happens, the cardiologist in Singapore or the neurologist will recommend the patient for an immediate surgery by a heart surgeon and a neurosurgeon to stop or relieve the bleeding. The specialists will seal off the blood vessel and provide adequate blood flow to the brain by redirecting it.

Cerebrovascular Diseases in Children

Although cerebrovascular diseases are uncommon among children, there have been cases of stroke among minors. The cause, however, is not always related to haemorrhagic stroke or ischaemia but to congenital heart diseases. It’s important to stick to your child’s scheduled check-ups with the heart doctor in Singapore to prevent a stroke. Don’t delay when you suspect that your child is having a stroke.

Tests for Cerebrovascular Diseases

To determine the damage in the brain or parts of the brain, the heart doctor will recommend the following heart screening tests for the patient: carotid ultrasound or duplex, cerebral angiogram or angiography, Doppler ultrasound, computes tomography or CT scan, spinal tap or lumbar puncture, electroencephalogram or EEG, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI and magnetic resonance angiogram or MRA. The heart screening and brain tests will allow the neurologist and heart doctor to determine the type of treatment needed by the patient. The imaging tests are done to examine in particular the arteries and veins in the brain and brain tissue.

Treatment for Cerebrovascular Diseases

Patients in Singapore who experience a stroke are given immediate medical attention by the heart surgeon and neurosurgeon. To break up the blood clot, the person is usually given a tissue plasminogen activator. Other medications should also be administered, but this should be done at a specific time after the attack for them to work effectively. These medications may include aspirin, ticlopidine, dipyridamole and clopidogrel. In some cases a carotid angioplasty or carotid endarterectomy may be recommended by the neurosurgeon.

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