Cerebral infarction refers to permanent damage to brain tissue caused by defective blood flow, or ischemia. The cause of a cerebral infarction, or cerebrovascular accident, is a blockage of the cerebral arteries.
Most often, the cause is a clot from the heart or carotid artery. A stroke often strikes completely unexpectedly. Symptoms usually peak quickly, within minutes. Less often, it takes hours for symptoms to develop.