A fatty material (plaque) can build up in your arteries. This makes it harder for blood to flow through them. A blood clot can then form on the plaque. This may block the artery, cutting off blood flow. This can cause conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral arterial disease (PAD):
The same things that cause CAD and PAD can also cause plaque to form in other arteries in your body, such as those in the brain. When plaque occurs in any of these arteries, it raises your risk of heart attack or stroke.