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What is microvascular ischemic brain disease?

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Microvascular ischemic brain disease is a condition in which small blood vessels in the brain are damaged, either by rupturing or by clotting, according to New Health Advisor. Damaged vessels impede blood flow to certain parts of the brain, which can lead to a stroke. Cerebral microvascular ischemia is also associated with dementia, other neurological disorders and memory problems.

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Cerebral microvascular ischemia is most commonly found in patients who are diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, explains New Health Advisor. It is also associated with stress, smoking and age. Some psychological symptoms of microvascular ischemia of the brain include memory issues, inability to reason, depression, apathy and personality changes. Physiological symptoms of this condition include frequent falls, weakness, visual disturbance, inability to speak and difficulty swallowing.

There is no cure for cerebral microvascular ischemia as of 2015, and the damage it causes to the brain is not reversible, according to New Health Advisor. Treatments focus on addressing medical conditions that are contributing to the small vessel damage. For diabetics, treatment involves strict blood sugar control through diets and medications. For those with hypertension, doctors monitor blood pressure and prescribe antihypertensives. It is also strongly recommended that people with microvascular ischemia stop smoking.

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