Blood Clots in the Brain & the Damage They Can Cause

Diagram of a Brain ClotSigns of a blood clot in the brain include headaches, dizziness, paralysis, trouble speaking or understanding speech. A blood clot is simply a mass of coagulated blood.

Not all clots are bad. For example, when you get a paper cut, blood rushes to the cut and forms what we commonly call a scab. This clot helps to prevent excessive bleeding and keeps infections out of the body.

Clots in the brain are a different story. In severe cases a clot can clog an artery supplying blood to the brain, starving the brain of oxygen and nutrients. If blood flow to the brain is completely cut off the brain cells may begin to die. This is what we commonly call a stroke.

The lasting effects depend on which brain cells were affected by the stroke.

Cerebral blood clots don’t always form in the arteries. Any time something is injured in the brain, or elsewhere in the body, blood flows to the site to help initiate the healing process. Sometimes clots form between the brain and the skull after a traumatic brain injury. This increases pressure on the brain and can permanently damage brain tissue.