A stroke is when a portion of the brain dies because it does not get enough blood. This usually occurs from small pieces of plaque or clot that travel into the small arteries in the brain, and block the blood flow.
When a portion of the brain dies, it stops working. Symptoms of a stroke include sudden onset of weakness on one side of the body, loss of the ability to speak, understand words, or loss of vision in one eye. Occasionally the weakness can be accompanied by numbness as well.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, but it is estimated that 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Many strokes can be prevented by medical treatment of risk factors for peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
If you have significant narrowing in your carotid artery from PAD, you may need the narrowing repaired. Vascular surgery is the primary specialty that treats carotid artery narrowing to prevent stroke.
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