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Home :: Neurology Disorders

Cerebral Embolism


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The average affected individual is a young female. The heart is the most common source of embolic material. The onset is sudden. The patient is dazed. The incident is preceded by a severe headache. No hypertension is present.

The area of one artery is affected. Convulsions are common. There is no neck stiffness. Recovery is usual. Oral contraceptives are a common cause. About a third of all strokes are preceded by transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or mini-strokes, that temporarily interrupt blood flow to the brain. The result may be a heart attack, stroke, disabling injury in the limbs or pulmonary embolism. After the arteries have carried oxygen to all the body's tissues , the de-oxygenated blood is returned to the heart in the veins . If the embolus is in a vein , the tube system widens in the same direction as the blood flows, so it's unlikely to get stuck.

An embolus is a blockage that has entered the bloodstream. The particle causing the blockage is called an embolus and is usually caused by a blood clot, fat particle or bubble of air. However, when they occur internally or in the wrong place, as a result of disease or injury, they can be dangerous. This blockage can be air, fat or some other material that has found its way into the circulatory system. He had the valve replacement yesterday, but had bled slowly through the night and had to return to the operating room this morning because the bleeding continued despite multiple doses of protamine (used to reverse the effects of heparin, an anticoagulant) and multiple units of fresh frozen plasma. Prompt treatment improves the chances of survival and increases the degree of recovery that may be expected. A person who may have suffered a stroke should be seen in a hospital emergency room without delay.

A stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted to a part of the brain, either when an artery bursts or becomes closed when a blood clot lodges in it. Blood clots are a natural and necessary part of the healing process. If an internal blood clot breaks loose and travels through the circulatory system, it may become lodged in an important blood vessel and block the flow of blood to vital organs. The embolus is carried in the blood stream until it gets stuck in a place where it forms a blockage. Brain cells need blood to supply oxygen and nutrients and to remove waste products.) Depending on the region of the brain affected, a stroke can cause paralysis, loss of vision, speech impairment, memory loss and reasoning ability, coma, or death. While TIAs cause similar symptoms (such as sudden vision loss or temporary weakness in a limb), they abate much more quickly than full-fledged strokes, usually within a few hours sometimes as quickly as a few minutes. Treatment to break up a blood clot, the major cause of stroke, must begin within three hours of the stroke to be most effective. Improved medical treatment of all types of stroke has resulted in a dramatic decline in death rates in recent decades.

Causes of Cerebral Embolism

The common Causes of Cerebral Embolism :

  • Neoplasms (ie, breast, pelvic malignancy, stomach)
  • This is  a rare type of embolism that happens when a bubble of air trapped in the blood and causes a blockage.
  • Pregnancy and estrogen use
  • Surgery and/or procedures such as pancreas and lung surgeries
  • Orthopedic, abdominal, and genitourinary procedures
  • ombosis (cerebral thrombosis) is the formation of a clot within a blood vessel of the brain or neck and is usually caused by atherosclerotic plaque build-up.
  • This is when an embolism - usually a blood clot - gets trapped in an artery in the brain i t's one of the most common causes of a stroke.

Symptoms of Cerebral Embolism

Some common Symptoms of Cerebral Embolism :

  • pain ;
  • Numbness.
  • Rapid heart beat;
  • Chest pain.
  • Vomiting or severe nausea
  • Tingling;
  • Dimness or loss of vision, particularly in only one eye
  • Coldness;
  • Seizure
  • Mottled or pale skin; and
  • Altered mental state
  • Swallowing abnormality

Treatment of Cerebral Embolism

Here is the list of the methods for treating Cerebral Embolism :

  • Treatment of the underlying cause of increased right atrial pressure is intended to reverse the right-to-left shunt, restoring the hemodynamic homeostasis
  • Surgical embolectomy with closure of a PFO or ASD appears to be the best treatment option for patients with an impending PDE, except in fixed pulmonary hypertension, where indefinite anticoagulation is an acceptable option.
  • When brain cells die during a stroke, they release toxic chemicals that can trigger a chain reaction that can injure or kill other nearby cells.
  • Contraindications include intracranial disease, recent surgery, or trauma. An approximate 1% risk of intracranial hemorrhage exists with the use of tPA.
  • If the embolism is caused by a blood clot and it's not causing emergency symptoms, it may be treated with drugs to dissolve the clot, as well as an anticoagulant ( blood thinning) drug to stop more clots forming.
  • Consultation with a pulmonologist and/or intensivist may be useful for patients with PDE and PE with hemodynamic compromise for positive-pressure ventilation and intensive care monitoring.