Stroke is the death of brain tissue due to blocked blood circulation to the brain. Strokes may be caused by an uncommon type of narrowing, due to leakage of blood into the lining of the carotid artery. This leaking of blood into the artery wall (dissection) may cause a clot to form, reducing blood flow and raising the risk of stroke. The leak may arise from an injury to the neck, which means strokes caused by carotid dissection may occur in young people as well as older people.
Review Date: 1/13/2013
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.