Intracranial stenosis is the narrowing of a blood vessel inside the brain. Plaque (atherosclerosis) builds up inside the artery wall over time, decreasing blood flow to the brain. If plaque buildup is severe enough to cause symptoms, the risk of stroke is high. Treatments aim to reduce the risk of stroke by controlling or removing plaque buildup and by preventing blood clots.
- A transient ischemic attack (TIA), also referred to as a minor stroke or mini stroke, can represent an important warning sign of a potential future more serious stroke. A TIA occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short period of time. The symptoms of a TIA are like a stroke but are temporary, usually lasting only a few minutes to hours.
- An ischemic stroke is a much more serious version of a TIA, occurring when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a blood clot or plaque. Ischemic strokes are by far the most common type of stroke, occurring in approximately 87% of cases. Unlike a TIA, the blockage causing an ischemic stroke won’t go away on its own without urgent treatment.