Blood Supply to the Brain

Human anatomy > Circulatory System > Blood Supply to the Brain

Blood is the river of life. It is responsible for making all the body organs work to their fullest. And the most functional organ is the brain. All its components send signals to all parts of the body so that they can perform well. Thus, having appropriate blood supply to the brain is not only a mere process that takes place to follow the course of human nature; rather, it is necessary for humans to be able to accomplish any task.

How does the blood supply reach the brain?

There are four vessels through which the arterial blood passes going to the brain. Each of these four vessels is actually in sets of paired arteries – one set of internal carotid arteries and a pair of vertebral arteries. These eventually converge into one unified vessel found near the pituitary gland, which is located in the interior surface of the brain. The converged structure permits adequate blood flow to be received by the brain. The pairing also works like a back-up plan when one of the arteries tends to be blocked or is hindered to function as expected.

Blood Supply to the Brain

How do the sets of arteries work?

The vertebral arteries are originated from the subclavian artery, a component found at the base of the neck. For the blood supply to enter the brain, these arteries pass through the foramen magnum. This is an opening at the base of the skull where the spinal cord merges with the brain region of the medulla oblongata. The arteries are conjoined once they have penetrated the cranium to form the basilar artery. This artery, in turn, serves as the seed where two posterior cerebral arteries are created.

The new set of arteries now takes charge of transporting the blood supply to the surface of the cerebrum, the dominant part of the human brain. They further branch out into posterior communicating arteries that are responsible for the Circle of Willis, also known as the cerebral arterial circle, to exist. 

This area may be treated like a pool party of the vessels that supply blood to the brain. This is where the common carotid arteries (branches from the left ventricle of the heart aorta) split off into smaller internal carotid arteries.

These arteries are responsible for creating a network of vessels to be scattered along the inferior surface of the brain. The new sections that come from the internal carotid arteries are then accountable for enabling the blood supply to be distributed to the different parts of the brain. Consequently, other arteries are formed so as to bring the blood to other parts of the head. One sample is the ophthalmic artery, which carries blood to the eye and its sections.

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