New York Spine Institute Spine Services

What Are Cerebrovascular Diseases?  

What Are Cerebrovascular Diseases?  

By: Nicholas Post, M.D. FAANS

Nicholas Post, M.D. FAANS, a board-certified neurosurgeon has joined the NY Spine Institute medical staff. NYSI is now the only private practice on Long Island to offer true comprehensive spinal care spanning spine-specific and general orthopedics, neurosurgery, physical therapy, and pain management subspecialties for patients with acute, chronic, or debilitating orthopedic or complex spine and brain conditions.

The term “cerebrovascular” can be broken down into two parts — “cerebro,” referring to the brain, and “vascular,” referring to blood vessels such as veins and arteries. The word describes the blood flow in the brain. In a healthy environment, blood will pump from the heart to the brain through the carotid and vertebral arteries. The brain then sends blood back to the heart along the jugular vein to be re-oxygenated.

Cerebrovascular disease is the blanket term for disruptions to this natural flow and its complications. While there are several causes, these diseases typically occur due to a blockage in a major artery or vein. 

Types of Cerebrovascular Diseases

Cerebrovascular diseases may develop from a variety of conditions. Each type fits into one of these terms:

  • Thrombosis: A blood clot blocks a vessel.
  • Stenosis: Vessels become narrow.
  • Embolism: Artery blockage.
  • Hemorrhage: A blood vessel rupture.
  • Ischemia: A lack of sufficient blood flow.


A stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted. These blockages can happen abruptly and cause a loss of neurological function. A stroke can be one of the following:

  • Ischemic stroke: This most common type of stroke can be thrombotic or embolic. They occur when a clot or piece of plaque blocks a blood vessel downstream.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: Hypertension, aneurysms and vessel malformation can cause a hemorrhagic stroke when they rupture. The bleeding in the brain can clot and cause severe damage.

There is also a possibility of a transient ischemic attack (TIA). TIAs occur when blood flow is temporarily blocked in the brain, causing stroke-like symptoms that leave no permanent damage.

Cerebral Aneurysm

An aneurysm is caused by a weakness in a blood vessel wall that can balloon due to pressure. Cerebral aneurysms may not have symptoms until they rupture, which can be dangerous. 

How Are Cerebrovascular Diseases Treated?

Any cerebrovascular disease requires immediate treatment. Whatever the issue, you’ll undergo a rapid test to determine the exact cause and necessary action. Medications or surgeries, like a thrombectomy, carotid angioplasty or endarterectomy, are possible treatments.

A cerebrovascular event may cause brain damage. There are a few rehabilitation options following surgery to ensure effective treatment:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiological therapy

Schedule a Consultation Today

New York Spine Institute offers quality services for cerebrovascular disease and other conditions. Our board-certified team of specialists is passionate about providing the care you need to regain your quality of life. If you or a loved one have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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