What Causes Hardening of the Brain Arteries and How Is It Treated?

Hardening of the arteries in the brain or other parts of the body is known as atherosclerosis, and it is typically caused by an accumulation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries, WebMD reports. Treatments may vary, but doctors usually prescribe cholesterol and blood pressure medications and recommend lifestyle changes.

When atherosclerosis in the brain progresses to the point that plaque growths cause a rupture, the result is a stroke, WebMD explains. Most people can minimize the risk for developing atherosclerosis before it happens by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as not smoking, avoiding excessive drinking, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight, keeping stress to a minimum, and eating foods low in LDL cholesterol.