Intracranial vascular disease (or stenosis) is thought to account for about 10 percent of all strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). It is a narrowing of any arteries at the base of the skull or inside the brain. Symptoms of intracranial vascular disease may include momentary loss of vision in one eye, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, and language problems, such as slurred speech, inability to get words out or gibberish speech.
Patients suffering from intracranial vascular disease often experience "stereotypic spells," where symptoms involving the same territory of the brain may occur in repetition. Blood loss or medication that causes a drop in blood pressure may cause these symptoms. If they recur, despite blood pressure or anemia corrections, intervention may be necessary.
Usually, after a carotid artery is completely blocked or occluded, a patient will not continue to suffer additional strokes. However, in rare instances, a patient may continue to experience new strokes or TIAs. When these strokes are caused by lack of blood flow, a procedure called an extracranial to intracranial (EC-IC) bypass may be performed. During the EC-IC bypass procedure, an artery from the scalp is connected to an artery in the brain, providing extra blood flow to the brain.
If you are concerned about strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), please call us 206-341-0420.