Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease

What Is Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease?

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Causes and Symptoms of Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease

Preventable risks of developing vascular disease are also similar to heart disease:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

ICAD is often asymptomatic for years, and when it does present symptoms, it can be during a life-altering event such as an ischemic stroke (loss of blood supply to the brain), brain hemorrhage or death.

These intracranial atherosclerotic disease symptoms require immediate medical help:

  • A severe headache (with no known cause)
  • Vision difficulties
  • Slurred speech
  • Swallowing problems
  • Numbness or weakness, often on only one side of the face or body
  • Balance and coordination issues
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

How Is Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease Diagnosed?

Your physician can evaluate your risk for intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) and determine if brain imaging such as an MRI is needed.

If you do have ICAD and need a surgical procedure, a cerebral angiography will help your neurosurgeon determine the best site for treatment.

Your doctor can recommend lifestyle adjustments to lower the risk of a major stroke. Medications may be prescribed to lower your blood pressure and reduce the cholesterol in your blood. Other medications such as anticoagulants and antiplatelets may also be prescribed.

Superb Surgical Treatments for Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease

NSPC Brain & Spine Surgery (NSPC) (NSPC) is a private practice of premier physicians, with neurosurgeons who specialize in cerebrovascular and endovascular conditions, including intracranial atherosclerotic disease, brain aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVM).

Endovascular therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that treats ICAD from inside the blood vessel. During a balloon angioplasty and stenting procedure, a tiny catheter is inserted into a groin artery and threaded up past the narrowed intracranial artery. A stent is then guided into position at the blockage and a balloon is inflated to dilate the stent. The catheter and balloon are retracted, leaving the stent in place to keep the artery open and improve blood flow.

Cerebral Bypass Surgery

Cerebral bypass surgery is a more invasive procedure that revascularizes (reestablishes blood flow) the brain. An external carotid artery, such as the superficial temporal artery that is over the skull, is attached to a cortical branch of the middle cerebral artery. This neurosurgical procedure is sometimes called the ECA/MCA (external carotid artery to middle cerebral artery) or the STA/MCA (superficial temporal artery to the middle cerebral artery.)

Located in the New York tri-state area, NSPC has convenient offices on Long Island, in NYC and surrounding areas to provide you with premier ICAD treatment and care.

Related NSPC Center

Long Island Brain and Spine Tumor Center

NSPC provides state-of-the-art treatment of benign and malignant brain and spine tumors, using minimally invasive procedures like Gamma Knife®, Novalis TX™, and CyberKnife® rather than major surgery whenever appropriate. Our physicians also perform experienced pediatric neurosurgery — they give personalized, individual attention combined with knowledge and experience to take on the most challenging of cases.

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