Brain aneurysm forms when brain’s arterial wall bulges and fills with blood. It is caused by weak spots in the blood vessel wall which can break and bleed. It is also called intracranial aneurysm or cerebral aneurysm which can result in stroke, brain damage and even death.
What does brain aneurysm look like?
Brain aneurysms can take several forms.
It can be saccular or berry aneurysms which forms a sac outside the artery.
A fusiform aneurysm causes the artery to bulge all the way around.
A dissecting aneurysm is a tear in the artery lining that can cause leakage of blood or block the artery.
What causes a brain aneurysm?
The factors that can trigger the rupture of an existing aneurysm:
- Excessive exercise
- coffee or soda consumption
- straining during bowel movements
- sexual intercourse
- Some aneurysms are inherited and some occur due to brain injuries.
- Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition that causes fluid-filled pockets (cysts) in brain tissue. It increases blood pressure and weakens blood vessels in the brain.
- Marfan’s syndrome affects the genes which damage the structure of the arteries and thus result into brain aneurysms.
- A traumatic brain injury causing wear and tear of the tissue is known as a dissecting aneurysm. A severe infection damaging the arteries in the body can lead to an aneurysm.
Who’s at risk for a brain aneurysm?
- Though brain aneurysms can affect anyone, but it is commonly found seen in people with atherosclerosis. It occurs in age group of 35 – 60 years old and risk increases with age.
Other risk factors include:
- old age
- drug abuse
- alcohol abuse
- congenital problems
- head injury
- arteriovenous malformation
What is an Arteriovenous malformations (AVM)?
The abnormal connections between the arteries and veins in the brain are called arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). These form before birth and can bleed causing blood clot in the brain, which can lead to death or disability.
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What are the symptoms of a brain aneurysm?
Aneurysms may not show any symptoms until they rupture. Once rupture they show definite brain aneurysm symptoms and require emergency medical care. However, the symptoms vary based on whether it’s ruptured or not.
Some of the brain aneurysm symptoms are:
headache or pain behind or above the eye
Nausea or vomiting
loss of consciousness
If you experience one or more symptoms, you need to seek emergency medical attention right away.
Treating brain aneurysms
Brain aneurysm treatment vary on the basis of size, location, and severity of the aneurysm as well as whether it is ruptured or not.
Proper medication can help soothe headaches and eye pain.
Brain aneurysm surgery can help repair or cut off blood flow in the artery wall and prevent further growth or a rupture.
Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, proper diet, exercise etc can help to manage aneurysm. Seek emergency care from experienced physicians in order to ensure the best possible outcome.