Stroke and Cardiovascular Diseases

Cerebrovascular disease is a medical condition that affects the blood vessels of the brain and the cerebral circulation. The arteries supplying oxygen and nutrients to the brain are usually getting damaged in these disorders. The most common type of cerebrovascular disease is an ischemic stroke or mini-stroke and sometimes a haemorrhagic stroke. High blood pressure (Hypertension) is the most important contributing risk factor for stroke and cerebrovascular diseases as it can change the structure of blood vessels and result in atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where the blood vessels narrow in the brain, resulting in decreased cerebral perfusion. Narrowed cerebral arteries may lead to ischemic stroke, but continually elevated blood pressure can also cause tearing of vessels, leading to a haemorrhagic stroke. Stroke is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease and stroke share many of the same risk factors such as high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese. Individuals with coronary heart disease, angina, or who have had a heart attack due to atherosclerosis, have more than twice the risk of stroke than those who haven’t. If you have atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries you are very likely to have atherosclerosis in other parts of your body. Atherosclerosis is often referred to as "hardening of the arteries." The word comes from the Greek words athero (meaning gruel or paste) and sclerosis (hardness). In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) quiver instead of beating effectively to move blood into the ventricle.

  • Cardiovascular epidemiology
  • Stroke epidemiology  
  • Vascular malformation epidemiologic research
  • Genetics of ischemic stroke
  • Neurovascular genetics

 

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