When something happens to your blood through your arteries to your brain, a cerebral vasculitis (CVA} or stroke occurs. A CVA most frequently occurs in your brain but, also very seldom, it can also happen in your spinal cord. A stroke happens when there's a sudden change to the flow of blood in your central nervous system due to injury to a blood vessel or even something as simple as a narrowing of the arteries. Blood clots can form in these arteries and, if the artery becomes completely blocked by plaque, bleeding will occur. With a stroke, affected individuals can experience partial or full paralysis, loss of speech, seizures and sometimes death.
Stroke prevention begins with early detection through a comprehensive exam and medical history. The National Institute of Neurological Diseases (NIN), based at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has determined that people who have CVA have an increased risk of developing stroke. These individuals should have a regular medical screening for symptoms of CVA and if symptoms are present should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. A CVA typically involves a direct blow to a major vessel in your brain or the neck. A symptom of a CVA is memory loss but other symptoms such as dizziness, lethargy, headaches, and weakness may occur.
If you've had a CVA, the symptoms of the disease usually won't show immediately. They can develop over time or be worse than they were when you first experienced them. Often, people with CVA don't even realize they have the problem until a stroke occurs and their memories and ability to perform things outside of the hospital are severely compromised. Early recognition of the signs and symptoms of a CVA can help improve the outcome of the procedure. Your doctor will be able to determine if CVA is a contributing factor in your stroke or if there are other issues that need to be addressed.
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