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Cerebral Small Vessel Disease (CSVD)

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What is Cerebral Small Vessel Disease (CSVD)?

Cerebral small vessel disease includes various conditions in which small blood vessels in the brain are damaged, often causing stroke. CSVD causes impaired blood flow to the brain, which can be associated with dementia if it progresses. It is most common in older adults.

What Are the Symptoms of Cerebral Small Vessel Disease?

Symptoms vary, and unfortunately are not usually present until a later stage of the disease. They can include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking clearly and communicating
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Depression
  • Strokes
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing

What Causes Cerebral Small Vessel Disease?

CSVD is most commonly caused by narrowing of the small blood vessels in the brain due to inflammation or a buildup of plaques (protein pieces that clump together).

UR Medicine experts are researching CSVD and other cerebrovascular diseases (relating to blood flow in the brain) to better understand their causes and discover new treatments.

UR Medicine's Treatments for Cerebral Small Vessel Disease (CSVD)

Your provider will likely do an MRI scan to look for bleeding of the small blood vessels in the brain. Treatment options are limited but may include medications or healthy lifestyle changes.

Our Cerebrovascular and Neurocognitive Research Group (CNRG) is using advanced brain imaging technologies to study several diseases, including stroke, cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), and vascular dementia. The aim is to use new information to diagnose and evaluate new treatments.

Our experts are working to understand how the damage caused in CSVD disrupts the brain’s communication networks. Using advanced MRI imaging technology and computational resources, they are building a comprehensive map of the neural connections in the brain—called a connectome—to learn how these connections are disrupted in CSVD over time.

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine offers advanced stroke treatments that are not available at most hospitals.

UR Medicine's Comprehensive Stroke Center offers world-class treatment and prevention of stroke, including the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region’s only state-of-the art Mobile Stroke Unit and a dedicated Neuromedicine Intensive Care Unit. 

Our highly trained, nationally recognized stroke and neurocritical care team provides comprehensive care for all types of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases.

State-of-the-art neuroimaging capabilities and immediate access to all subspecialists offer patients the most sophisticated medical and surgical treatments for the best outcomes.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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2 locations

Comprehensive Stroke Center - Brighton

Clinton Crossings, Building F
2400 South Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618

Comprehensive Stroke Center - Rochester

Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642

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