The carotid arteries are the blood vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the front portion of your brain. That is the area of your brain that manages speech, thinking, personality, and sensory and motor functions.
Any narrowing or blockage in these arteries may affect the blood supply to your brain, leading to a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
A TIA causes a temporary decrease in blood flow to your brain.
During a stroke, there’s a blockage in your carotid artery, depriving your brain of oxygen-rich blood. Without an adequate supply of blood, brain cells die.
A stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect you or someone you love is having a stroke, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.