What is CAD?
Arteries carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Carotid arteries carry blood from the heart up through the neck and into the brain. Two carotid arteries provide oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients to brain cells. With age buildup of plaque (a sticky substance of fat and cholesterol) can occur. Plaque narrows the passageway within the arteries and cause them to become stiff. Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) is the result of the carotid arteries becoming narrowed or obstructed, which limits the blood flow to the brain.
Stroke can result from an obstruction of blood flow to the brain when pieces of the plaque or clot break off and flow to the brain. If CAD is left untreated it can lead to stroke. The lack of oxygen and nutrients to the brain can cause brain damage. Strokes can be fatal depending on their severity. They are the leading cause of permanent disabilities in older adults and the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Stroke could be the first sign of CAD. There may be no symptoms at all in the early stage. Stroke can have warning signs such as a ministroke. Ministroke symptoms usually last a few minutes to a few hours and is usually temporary. It should be treated as a serious medical emergency. Ministrokes require immediate treatment and are strong indicators of future strokes.
Numbness, weakness, tingling on one side of the body
Difficulty talking or comprehending others
Blurred or loss of vision
Inability to speak clearly
High Blood Pressure
Lack of Excercise
Family history of stroke or atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)