Causes and Symptoms of Middle Cerebral Artery Stroke


Middle cerebral artery stroke is a violation of blood flow in the middle cerebral artery (MCA). A stroke occurs when a blood vessel becomes blocked or ruptured.

A stroke is always a medical emergency. It can cause permanent brain damage. because brain cells die if they don't get a constant supply of oxygen from the blood.

In this article, we will look at CAM and what it does, the symptoms and causes of CAM stroke, and how to diagnose and treat them. / Getty Images

What is the middle cerebral artery?

The arteries in your brain form symmetrical pairs. Each has a right and left artery. SMA are vital blood vessels that branch from the internal carotid arteries .

The internal carotid arteries are branches of the common carotid arteries . These are large blood vessels in your neck.

SMA is the largest branch of the internal carotid arteries. Can be used with large strokes.

What does MCA do?

The arteries of the brain carry oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the brain. Each artery supplies a separate area of the brain. This section is called the "territory" of this artery.

CAMs provide most of the brain, including:

  • Parietal lobe : processes sensory information related to touch, taste and temperature.
  • Temporal lobe : processes sound and encodes memory.
  • Inner capsule : helps to communicate between areas of the brain.
  • Frontal Lobe Part – Important for movement, expressive speech, and the ability to work toward a goal.

When blood flow to these areas is affected, they find it difficult to do their job.


MCA strokes occur when the MCA becomes blocked or ruptured and blood flow to the site of the MCA is cut off.

SMA is the largest branch of the internal carotid arteries. It carries blood that contains oxygen and nutrients to several critical areas of the brain. Lack of blood flow kills brain cells and affects function in that area.

MCA stroke symptoms

CAM strokes are the most common type. Its symptoms are those that people often associate with strokes, for example:

An MCA stroke can also cause:

  • Sensory deficit
  • Visual defects

They affect the side of the body opposite the artery. Therefore, a stroke in the right CAM causes symptoms on the left side of the body.


CAM is a large blood vessel. Large vessel strokes affect the brain more than small vessel strokes. If the MCA itself is blocked, the result is a large glass hit that affects its entire area.

If only a small branch of the MCA is blocked, a small vessel spill occurs. It affects a small section of the MCA territory and is often less severe.

MCA strokes are usually caused by a blood clot that travels outside of the brain. It usually comes from the heart or carotid artery. Then the clot gets stuck in the CAM and blocks blood flow.

This is called an embolic stroke . When a clot forms in the arteries of the brain, it is called a thrombotic .

Risk factors for CAM stroke include:


Strokes from SMA are common and their symptoms are well known. A stroke in the left CAM causes symptoms on the right side of the body and vice versa.

Large vessel strokes, such as CAM strokes, affect large areas of the brain. Sometimes only the MCA branch is blocked and the stroke is less severe.

Blood clots that travel from the heart or carotid artery often cause MCA strokes.


CAM strokes are among the easiest types of strokes to recognize.

Still, your healthcare provider will likely use multiple labs and tests to confirm the diagnosis. They may include:

Other tests and imaging may be done based on your symptoms.

Treatment and rehabilitation

Emergency treatment may include:

  • Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) , a powerful anticoagulant
  • Other anticoagulants
  • Tight control of blood pressure, blood sugar, electrolytes, and fluids.
  • Surgery to relieve pressure in vital areas of the brain.

Rehabilitation after a stroke is intense and long. It can be physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy.


MCA blockages or tears lead to an MCA stroke. As a result, the loss of blood, oxygen, and nutrients can cause brain damage and affect function in areas that receive blood from the SMA.

MCA strokes are usually large unless only its branch is blocked, in which case they are smaller and less severe.

Stroke Symptoms SMA are the symptoms that most people associate with stroke and are related to the affected areas.

MCA strokes are often caused by blood clots exiting the heart or carotid artery. They are diagnosed with a neurological exam, blood tests, and imaging.

Treatment includes blood thinners, pressure reduction surgery, and monitoring of certain vital functions. Recovery can include several types of therapy, depending on the symptoms.

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Recovering from an SMA stroke can take some time, especially if all of the SMA was blocked, resulting in a major stroke.

Long-term recovery and rehabilitation can take months or even years. However, a good recovery is possible even after very serious strokes. Most people who have had an CAM stroke can regain some function.

Frequently asked questions

  • Middle cerebral artery stroke occurs when the middle cerebral artery (the largest branch of the internal carotid artery) is blocked. The middle carotid artery supplies the part of the brain responsible for movement and sensation in the trunk, extremities, and face.

  • Middle cerebral artery (SMA) stroke causes the same symptoms that people often associate with any stroke, namely:

    • One-sided (one-sided) weakness and / or numbness
    • One-sided drooping of the face
    • Unilateral changes in vision
    • Difficulty speaking
    • Loss of ability to understand or express speech.

  • A mid-stroke can be hemorrhagic (caused by bleeding in the brain) or ischemic (caused by a blockage). Old age, genetics, race, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, and diet contribute to both. Risk factors for ischemic stroke also include high cholesterol, diabetes, coronary heart disease , heart failure , and atrial fibrillation .

  • For ischemic stroke, an intravenous drug called tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is used to break up the clot that is blocking the artery; In some cases, catheters and stents can be used to remove the clot and restore blood flow. Hemorrhagic stroke usually requires surgery to reduce intracranial pressure caused by bleeding.

  • Health educators often use the acronym BE FAST to describe stroke symptoms that affect balance, eyes, face, hands, speech, and timing. Call 911 or seek emergency help if you or someone else experiences:

    • Sudden loss of balance on one side.
    • Changes in vision in one eye or double vision.
    • One-sided drooping of the face
    • Loss of function or feeling in one hand.
    • Speak slurred
    • Trouble finding a word or highlighting words.

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