What is your knowledge of the human disease called, 'Atherosclerosis'?
Atherosclerosis (ath"er-o-skleh-RO'sis) comes from the Greek words athero (meaning gruel or paste) and sclerosis (hardness). It's the name of the process in which deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and other substances build up in the inner lining of an artery. This buildup is called plaque. It usually affects large and medium-sized arteries. Some hardening of arteries often occurs when people grow older.
Plaques can grow large enough to significantly reduce the blood's flow through an artery. But most of the damage occurs when they become fragile and rupture. Plaques that rupture cause blood clots to form that can block blood flow or break off and travel to another part of the body. If either happens and blocks a blood vessel that feeds the heart, it causes a heart attack. If it blocks a blood vessel that feeds the brain, it causes a stroke. And if blood supply to the arms or legs is reduced, it can cause difficulty walking and eventually gangrene.