Potential problems of small vessel disease of the brain

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The small and large blood vessels in the body are responsible for the circulation of oxygen, blood and essential nutrients to the brain and bodily tissues. When it comes to small vessel disease of the brain, it can disrupt with the flow of blood to the brain as well as exchange of oxygen and nutrients which results to ischemia in the affected area.

Those who have small vessel disease of the brain face a higher risk for developing a stroke, aneurysm or thrombosis in the brain.


The accumulation of cholesterol can lead to the creation of a clot in the small vessels within the brain. Always bear in mind that blood clots in the small vessels of the brain are dangerous since they can clog up the blood flow that can result to an ischemic stroke. The obstruction of the small vessels in the brain due to a clot can also lead to an embolic or thrombotic stroke.

Small vessel disease of the brain
The accumulation of cholesterol can lead to the creation of a clot in the small vessels within the brain.

Cerebral aneurysm

The small blood vessels of the brain can end up blocked with the accumulation of fat due to atherosclerosis. Always bear in mind that atherosclerosis is characterized as a disease of the vascular system.

Once the condition affects the small blood vessels of the brain, atherosclerosis diminishes the capability of these small blood vessels to exchange essential nutrients and oxygen with the brain tissues.

Cerebral aneurysm can be triggered by atherosclerosis and described as the filling of a blood vessel in the brain with excess blood. The protruding area in the blood vessel can break open which causes a brain hemorrhage or place pressure on a nerve or neighboring brain tissue.

Alzheimer’s disease

The deposit of fatty acid in the arteries can fragment and release smaller fragments called emboli that can clog up the small blood vessels. Take note that these fragmented emboli can affect the overall structural integrity and functionality of the small vessels that leads to athero-embolic diseases of the brain.

The presence of blood clots in the heart chambers can also chip apart and move all the way up to the small vessels that result to thrombo-embolic disease of the brain. These diseases produce lesions in the brain and lead to Alzheimer’s dementia. The deposits of amyloid plaques in the small vessels can worsen Alzheimer’s disease and its associated dementia.

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