Cerebral Aneurysm

CEREBRAL ANEURYSM skull

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What Is An Aneurysm?

An aneurysm is an abnormal formation that sometimes arises in arteries. At those points where the arterial walls are weak, they tend to bulge into a balloon-like form that protrudes out from the walls of the blood vessel. This is known as an aneurysm. When speaking of aneurysms, we usually refer to arteries, since it is the arteries that have to tolerate the pressure of blood being pumped through them. The blood carried within veins is not subject to the same pressure as that in the arteries. However, venous aneurysms are not unknown.

 

What Is A Brain Aneurysm?

CEREBRAL ANEURYSM skullAneurysms can develop in any part of the body. The brain is no exception. In fact, brain aneurysms are some of the more well-recognized forms of aneurysms. At the base of the brain is located a vital network of blood vessels known as the circle of Willis. This is one of the most common locations for aneurysms to occur. Normally, brain aneurysms remain undetected until they give rise to symptoms. This usually occurs when an aneurysm presses against brain tissue or when it ruptures. In the latter case, it is important to ensure immediate medical attention, as there can be severe complications. Since the brain has the highest requirement for oxygen in the body, among all of the organs, any disruption in blood supply to the brain can have disastrous consequences. This can happen when an aneurysm ruptures. It can give rise to a hemorrhagic stroke.

 

Why Are Some People More Likely To Have Brain Aneurysms?

Aneurysms develop at those points where the walls of your arteries are weakest. In fact, the points where arteries fork into finer vessels are the areas most susceptible to developing aneurysms. Normally, healthy arteries are designed to withstand the pressure of the blood being pumped through them. In fact, they have thick, muscular walls that are highly elastic and designed to accommodate the rapid pulsation of blood. But sometimes, they are unable to cope with this pressure. There can be two main scenarios in which this can happen. Either the arterial walls themselves are weakened or compromised in some way or else the patient has severe hypertension, which exerts much higher pressure than the arteries are accustomed to.

CEREBRAL ANEURYSM MRIHence, any condition that weakens your arteries also, by extension, predisposes you towards aneurysms. As we have just seen, common cardiovascular problems such as hypertension and atherosclerosis are recognized risk factors for an aneurysm.

  • Having a family history of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension or atherosclerosis or heart attacks.
  • Having one brain aneurysm implies an increased risk of developing more.
  • The risk increases with advancing age.
  • Statistics have shown that women are more likely to develop brain aneurysms than men.
  • Having high blood pressure.
  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Head trauma.
  • Smoking.
  • Obesity.
  • Stress.
  • A sedentary lifestyle.
  • A diet rich in cholesterol.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Diabetes.
  • Post-menopausal estrogen deficiency.
  • Polycystic kidney disease.
  • Inherited connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome.
  • Vascular abnormalities such as arteriovenous malformations in the brain.
  • Certain infectious diseases such as syphilis.

 

Will I Know If I Have Brain Aneurysms? What Are The Signs?

If you do, indeed, have one or more aneurysms in your brain, you may not actually be aware of it unless an aneurysm ruptures or begins to leak blood. However, if the lesions are very large or pressing against a section of cerebral tissue, you may notice some neurological disturbances. The specific nature of the symptoms depends on which area of the brain has been affected.

 

What Happens When A Brain Aneurysm Ruptures?

When an aneurysm in your brain ruptures, you will develop what is known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage. In other words, blood will leak from the site of the rupture into space between your brain and the arachnoid membrane surrounding the brain. When an aneurysm in the brain ruptures, the patient may experience some or more of the following indications:

  • A severe headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Neck pain.
  • Weakness.
  • Elevated heart rate.
  • Blurring of vision or even double vision.
  • Drooping eyelids.
  • Slurring of speech.
  • Heightened sensitivity to light (photosensitivity).
  • Tinnitus
  • Mental confusion.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Fainting.

 

What Are Some Complications That Might Arise?

CEREBRAL ANEURYSM typesIf you have been diagnosed with one or more aneurysms in the brain, your main concern would be to avoid any condition that might lead to their rupture. As we have seen above, rupture of a cerebral aneurysm leads to subarachnoid haemorrhage which will most likely produce at least some of the various symptoms listed above.

If there is significant bleeding, this can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke. The blood is carried by the affected artery is unable to make its way to its intended destination, which is a section of brain tissue. This happens because the blood is now leaking from an aneurysm. As a result, the patient develops neurological deficits such as those listed above. Subarachnoid hemorrhage and hemorrhagic stroke can be fatal. Otherwise, the patient may be left with significant brain damage or paralysis.

 

How Is An Aneurysm In The Brain Detected?

Since intact aneurysms are normally asymptomatic, they often go undetected until they actually rupture or produce symptoms. Otherwise, they may be detected incidentally when conducting diagnostic imaging of the head region in connection with some other medical problem.

In order to precisely pinpoint the location of an aneurysm, the best tools to use are imaging techniques such as MRI and a specific method known as angiography. If an aneurysm has already ruptured, then your doctor may prefer to conduct a CT (computerized tomography) scan instead of MRI.

 

What Should Be Done About It?

Surgical treatment for a ruptured brain aneurysm can be:

  • Surgical clipping– This involves placement of a tiny metal clip on the neck of an aneurysm by a neurosurgeon after locating the blood vessel which feeds an aneurysm.
  • Endovascular coiling– A catheter (hollow plastic tube) is passed through the body to an aneurysm. A soft platinum wire is passed through the catheter into an aneurysm. The wire coils in the aneurysm sac and disrupts the blood flow and seals off an aneurysm from the feeding artery.
  • Flow diverters– these are tubular stent-like implants that divert the blood flow away from the aneurysm sac and thereby trigger healing of the parent artery.

Other treatment methods are:

Medications– pain-relievers and calcium channel blockers can be given. Calcium channel blockers prevent the erratic narrowing of the blood vessels after the rupture of an aneurysm. Anti-seizure medications (phenytoin, levetiracetam etc.) are given to treat the seizures resulting from the rupture of an aneurysm.

Vasopressor injections can be given to overcome the resistance of narrowed blood vessels after the rupture. Angioplasty and vasodilators can help in expanding the narrowed blood vessel.

Ventricular or lumbar draining catheters and shunt surgeries can be performed to relieve the fluid pressure on the brain tissue.

Aneurysms are like ticking bombs. If you have one in your brain, you might be concerned about it rupturing suddenly. It is not easy to tell when this might happen. However, it is possible to keep an eye on the status of an aneurysm to ensure that you are not caught completely off guard. The best way to do this is to ensure that you do not miss your regular check-ups so that your doctor can monitor an aneurysm and flag up any concerns or troubling developments.

Prevention of aneurysms can be done by treating underlying health conditions (such as high blood pressure), maintaining a healthy diet, mental health, and lifestyle; staying away from smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse is of utmost importance.

 

Facts

  • In the United States, the incidence of a ruptured aneurysm is around 10 per 100,000 individuals per year; that comes to around 30,000 individuals per year in the United States.
  • Around 3 to 5 million individuals have a cerebral aneurysm in the United States.
  • Cerebral aneurysms usually occur in individuals between the ages 30 years to 60 years.

Facts

  • The size of the cerebral aneurysms can be as big as 25 millimeters or more.
  • Most of the cerebral aneurysms are asymptomatic.
  • If the Computed Tomography (CT) scan is performed within 72 hours of the onset of a headache, 93% to 100% of all aneurysms can be detected.

Facts

  • Approximately 0.5% to 3% of individuals with a cerebral aneurysm may have bleeding.
  • After the onset of bleeding, 15% to 30% cases have mild difficulties, 20% to 35% cases show severe brain damage, and death can happen in 30% to 40% cases.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Consult your doctor if you experience symptoms such as weakness, paralysis, blurred vision, speech changes, headaches and neck pain.
  • As strong emotions such as anger, grief etc. can cause aneurysms to rupture, manage your stress levels. Recognize your triggers and work on them so as to keep yourself stress-free and calm. You can try meditation and mindful breathing techniques.
  • Keep your blood pressure in check. High blood pressure should be controlled with medications and necessary lifestyle and diet changes as it might cause aneurysms.
Don'ts
  • Indulge in smoking. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke can multiply the risk of the formation of an aneurysm.
  • Have excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to the weakening of blood vessels and formation of aneurysms.
  • Consume cocaine and other stimulant drugs. Drug abuse can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels causing aneurysms.

 

 

 

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sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
Plexus Slim: Is this pink slimming drink the ultimate one-stop fat burner? How effective is Plexus Slim in helping people lose weight? What are its ingredients? Can it be safely…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
DHEA wrinkles
DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
Cottage cheese: What can you find in this healthy chunk of fresh milk cheese? Love cheese but scared of putting on extra pounds? With cottage cheese, you can get the best of…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
EEG
Electroencephalogram – EEG EEG or electroencephalogram is a diagnostic tool used to access the functioning of neurons and brain activity to…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of hepatic enzymes which…
CEA_test
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test CEA or carcinoembryonic test detects the presence of CEA antigen in your blood mainly & determines the effectiveness…
Isagenix diet weight loss
How are BMI and BMR different and what do these numbers mean? BMI and BMR are two important metrics that provide a clear picture of your body's metabolism and also…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main theme of general…
Sciatica pain relief: Get rid of the pain with these easy daily tips Researchers have claimed that not only heat but icing the area too helps relieve sciatica pain. Find out…
sodium chloride
Halotherapy: How inhaling salt can work wonders for your body Halotherapy is quickly gaining popularity amongst those with respiratory diseases. It has shown promise in its treatment.
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Vitamin-D-blood-test
25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test is a blood test used to measure the level of vitamin D in the…
BoneMarrow-Biopsy
Bone Marrow Biopsy Bone marrow biopsy is a diagnostic procedure where a small amount of bone marrow is extracted from hip…
Strep throat pain
Anti-Streptolysin-O Test The ASO or Anti-Streptolysin-O is a blood test designed to check for the presence of streptococcus bacterial infection…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
free psa test
Free PSA Test The free PSA test is used to detect the level or percentage of free PSA in the body…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
piles fissure fistula
Allopathy vs homeopathy vs ayurveda treatment for piles, fissures, and fistula Read to know the best form of treatment among allopathy, homeopathy,or ayurveda for piles, fissures, and fistula
Tight phimosis ring
Phimosis Read to know everything about phimosis, types, symptoms, treatment, risks and prognosis for patients with this condition.
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…