A blood clot, or embolus, can form and break-off from the heart. The clot travels through the bloodstream where it can lodge in an artery of the brain, blocking the flow of oxygen-rich blood. The lack of oxygen results in damage, destruction, or even tissue death of the brain beyond the affected area. The result is a stroke.
Update Date 6/1/2015
Updated by: Daniel Kantor, MD, Kantor Neurology, Coconut Creek, FL and Immediate Past President of the Florida Society of Neurology (FSN). Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.