The carotid arteries, located in both sides of the neck, are critical to supplying oxygenated blood to the brain. Over time, atherosclerotic plaque may accumulate in these vessels, causing them to narrow, which results in a reduced cerebral blood supply. This condition is known as carotid artery stenosis. In addition, small pieces of this plaque may become dislodged and travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke. Seven hundred thousand Americans suffer a stroke in the United States each year, and 150,000 cases are fatal, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States.

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