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Your Health Matters

Stroke / Carotid Artery

A stroke is the death of brain tissue, usually caused by a loss of oxygen rich blood to the brain. A narrowing in the blood vessels (called carotid arteries) that supply blood flow to the brain typically causes a stroke or “brain attack”. These carotid arteries lie in your neck. These arteries typically become blocked when “plaque” (a fatty substance) builds-up within the carotid artery wall. Over time this plaque progresses and can decrease blood flow to the extent that brain cells die, which may result in a loss of body function. In addition, a crack or ulceration in the plaque can break off and travel to your brain, and become lodged in a narrow vessel in the brain. This plaque lodged within your brain can cause the death of brain cells (a stroke).

Carotid artery Abnormal flow
We can assess for Stroke risk using our Carotid Artery screening.

Twenty percent of people who have strokes originating from their carotid arteries do not survive, only ten percent of stroke survivors are left unimpaired. Thirty percent of stroke survivors are no longer capable of independent self-care. Stroke survivors are at 2-3 times greater risk for heart attacks. Strokes and heart disease cost our nation an estimated fifty billion dollars a year. About 600,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means a stroke occurs about every 53 seconds (American Stroke Association and Clinical Applications of Noninvasive Cerebrovascular Screening).
 
Who is at risk for stroke?  


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