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Cerebral Ischemia

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A blockage in the carotid arteries can cause cerebral ischemia, which results in damage to brain tissue.

Cerebral ischemia is a condition in which a blockage in an artery restricts the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, resulting in damage to brain tissue. Cerebral ischemia is sometimes called brain ischemia or cerebrovascular ischemia.

Cerebral ischemia can lead not only to brain-cell damage but to brain-cell death. A transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke, is when the cerebral ischemia causes the temporary loss of brain function. An ischemic stroke, also known as a cerebral infarction or brain attack, results when a blood vessel is occluded and the loss of brain function is permanent because the brain tissue dies (sometimes called necrosis). Ischemic strokes are the most common form of stroke.

For more information, please visit our Ischemia, Cerebral page.

Reviewed by: Dr. Philip E. Stieg
Last reviewed/updated: February 2021
Illustration by Thom Graves