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Brain Aneurysm

A brain aneurysm, sometimes called a cerebral aneurysm, is a bulge in a weak portion of a cerebral artery. The continual blood flow pulls the weakened area outward, forming a blister-like protrusion. The aneurysm expands as blood pours into the bulge. It's comparable to how a balloon thins out and becomes more prone to bursting as it fills with air. Aneurysms in the brain can occur anywhere, but the majority form in the major arteries that run down the base of the skull. Multiple aneurysms affect 10% to 30% of persons who suffer a brain aneurysm. Most brain aneurysms are minor and cause no symptoms.

Brain Aneurysm

If an aneurysm puts pressure on surrounding nerves or brain tissue, it might cause symptoms. When an aneurysm leaks or ruptures (bursts open), it causes brain haemorrhage. A ruptured brain aneurysm is potentially fatal and requires rapid medical intervention. With a ruptured aneurysm, the risk of mortality or disability increases over time.

What Happens When a Brain Aneurysm Ruptures?

When the blood vessel ruptures, blood pours (haemorrhages) into the surrounding brain tissue. The blood can put too much pressure on your brain tissue, causing it to bulge. In addition to other symptoms, it frequently causes a violent headache known as a thunderclap headache.

A burst brain aneurysm can result in major health issues such as:

  1. Subarachnoid hemorrhage(SAH): The arachnoid layer (the tissue between your brain and the thin tissues that cover and protect it) is bleeding. 90% of SAHs are caused by burst brain aneurysms.
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke: There is bleeding between your skull and brain. This can lead to lifelong brain damage or other issues like-
    • Vasospasm: This occurs when blood arteries narrow or close, allowing less oxygen to reach your brain.
    • Hydrocephalus: This happens when there is an increase in cerebral pressure produced by an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid or blood.
  3. Seizures: A seizure is an uncontrolled spike of electrical activity in your brain that lasts for a short period of time. It has the potential to exacerbate brain damage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.
  4. Coma: A lengthy state of unconsciousness. It can last for days or weeks.
  5. Death: Ruptured brain aneurysms cause death in approximately 50% of cases.

Who do Brain Aneurysms Affect?

Aneurysms in the brain can occur at any age. However, they are most likely to affect adults aged 30 to 60. They are also more common in women and persons born as females than in men and people born as males.

How Common are Brain Aneurysms?

A brain aneurysm that isn't bleeding (an unruptured aneurysm) affects up to 6% of people in the United States. Ruptured brain aneurysms are rare. They affect roughly 30,000 persons in the United States each year.

Symptoms and Causes

The symptoms of a brain aneurysm differ depending on whether it has ruptured:

  1. Thunderclap headache (sudden onset and severe, generally described as "the worst headache of my life") is one of the symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm.
  2. Vomiting and nausea.
  3. Tense neck.
  4. Double or blurred vision.
  5. Light sensitivity (photophobia).
  6. Seizures.
  7. Drooping eyelids and dilated pupils.
  8. Aching above and behind the eye.
  9. Confusion.
  10. Numbness and/or weakness.
  11. Consciousness loss

What Causes a Brain Aneurysm to Rupture?

A brain aneurysm can rupture (burst) and haemorrhage due to the conditions that lead to its development. According to researchers, the most prevalent cause of a rupture is excessive blood pressure. Blood pushes harder against the walls of blood vessels when blood pressure rises. The following situations can cause a brain aneurysm to rupture by raising blood pressure-

  1. Constant stress or an outburst of rage or another powerful emotion.
  2. Struggling (straining) to lift, carry, or push something heavy, such as weights or furniture.
  3. Known high blood pressure that is not being controlled appropriately with drugs.

Many factors influence whether an aneurysm will be dangerous which includes-

  1. Growth- An aneurysm that has grown over time is more prone to rupture.
  2. Location- Aneurysms in the posterior communicating arteries (a pair of arteries in the back of your brain) and the anterior communicating artery (an artery in the front of your brain) rupture at a higher rate than other types of brain aneurysms.
  3. Race- People of Japanese or Finnish ancestry are more likely to experience an aneurysm rupture.
  4. Older age- Aneurysm rupture is more prevalent in people above the age of 70.

People who have several brain aneurysms or who have previously bled from an aneurysm are at the greatest risk of having a brain aneurysm rupture.

Next TopicBrain Cancer

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