Vertebrobasilar Disease


This is a problem with arteries that carry blood to the back part of your brain. These are the vertebral arteries and the basilar arteries. With this disease, not enough blood flows through them. Your brain doesn't get the blood it needs.


What causes this disease? Most often, it's linked to a buildup of sticky plaque on your artery walls. We call this "atherosclerosis" or "hardening of the arteries." The plaque narrows the vessels. It limits how much blood they carry.

Risk factors

What are the risk factors? This disease is more common in older men. Your risk is higher if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Obesity, smoking, and an inactive lifestyle can raise your risk, too.


What are the symptoms? You can have a wide range of issues. Among them, you may have problems with balance, vision and swallowing. You can have things like slurred speech and confusion. You can have numbness and tingling of the face and scalp. And, this disease raises your risk for stroke.


How do we treat it? Medication and a healthier lifestyle are often the first step. You may benefit from other treatments, including surgery. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.