Donate to Carotid Artery Disease Research, Patient Care and Education

The carotid arteries carry blood to the brain, providing the brain with oxygen. When these arteries become blocked from the build-up of plaque (fat, cholesterol and calcium deposits), patients are at risk of developing carotid artery disease. Every year, more than 500,000 people are diagnosed with carotid artery disease, and it is the number one cause of stroke.

At Northwestern Medicine, leading-edge research studies clinical trials in the area of carotid artery disease receive vital support from generous donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation. By making a contribution, you will help scientists and physicians at Northwestern Medicine to continue to identify risk factors, to improve diagnostic techniques and to offer a variety of effective treatment options for carotid artery disease.

Age, gender and a family history of stroke are all contributing factors to the development of carotid artery disease. While these risk factors cannot be controlled, specialists have identified other risk factors that can, in fact, be mitigated. These factors include type 2 diabetes, heart disease and smoking, as well as blood clotting disorders and high blood pressure or cholesterol. By undergoing prescribed treatments for risk factors that can be controlled, an individual can lower his or her risk of developing carotid artery disease.

The two primary symptoms of carotid artery disease are life-threatening: heart attack and stroke. Both of these events are medical emergencies whose symptoms can manifest differently by gender. Symptoms of a heart attack in men can include, but are not limited to, shoulder, jaw and neck pain, as well as pain in the left arm and extreme pressure on the chest. For women, signs of a heart attack  include lower chest, jaw or back pain, as well as fatigue, nausea, palpitations and shortness of breath. The cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other specialists at Northwestern Medicine emphasize the fact that a person who is experiencing any of these symptoms must receive immediate medical attention.

Strokes present an entirely different set of symptoms. Some strokes are so minor that they are almost imperceptible. Strokes lasting less than 24 hours are deemed “transient,” yet people who experience these brief strokes have a higher risk of experiencing a major stroke in the future. Typical symptoms of a stroke include weakness in the face, the inability to move an arm, a leg or one side of the body, vision problems and slurred speech, as well as sudden, severe headaches and unexplained dizziness. A person who experiences any of these symptoms requires immediate medical attention.

Carotid Artery Disease Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Generous donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation help scientists and physicians at Northwestern Medicine to accelerate research and to expand treatment options for those suffering from carotid artery disease. Your contribution will further advance this important work and will make a powerful difference in the lives of many people affected by carotid artery disease. 

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