Brain aneurysm occurs due to weakening of the veins and arteries that cause blood vessels to bulge out and may lead to rupture which becomes an emergency condition. There are several causes for a brain aneurysm, including:
- Arteriosclerosis, caused by high cholesterol
- Congenital blood vessel defect from birth defect
- High blood pressure which damages the blood vessels, if left untreated
- Family history of aneurysms which elevates the risk
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage, signified by the sudden onset of a severe headache caused by a blood vessel that has burst in the brain, resulting in bleeding between the brain’s middle lining and the brain itself.
Brain aneurysms are mostly silent in nature, but may require immediate or emergent treatment. For this reason, people at risk of an aneurysm are advised seek out a screening to better predict the risk and prevent the onset of an emergent condition.
In certain instances, an individual may experience symptoms, more particularly before an aneurysm ruptures at the point of emergency. At this point, the symptoms may be similar to other serious neurological conditions, making a timely appropriate diagnosis and treatment vital.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage leads to a sudden, severe head pain that requires immediate care to prevent brain injury and death.
- Learn more about serious symptoms of a brain aneurysm before rupture by clicking on the above link.
Diagnostic Tools To Detect Brain Aneurysm
The diagnosis of a brain aneurysm may involve following diagnostic tests:
- CT scan is the preliminary test that is performed to diagnose an aneurysm.
- Cerebrospinal fluid test may be performed when CT scan tests results are inconclusive.
- CT angiography is a more advanced version of scanning, wherein a dye is injected to observe for ruptured aneurysm.
- MRI provides a more detailed and clearer picture of the ruptured aneurysm.
- Cerebral angiogram is done when the other diagnostic procedures fail to offer appropriate information.
Other Possible Conditions To Consider?
Risk of Re-Bleeding
Hydrocephalus, known as water on the brain, depicted by swelling of the brain due to fluid in the skull, Hyponatremia, low sodium in the blood
Vasospasm, depicted by the spasm of a blood vessel that leads to vasoconstriction and may lead to tissue ischemia and tissue necrosis (death).
Brain Aneurysm Treatment
Prompt treatment is required for a brain aneurysm to reduce the risk of brain injuries that may inhibit daily living skill capacity and to reduce the risk of death. Treatment options for a brain aneurysm depend upon numerous factors that will be reviewed during a Q and A with your neurosurgeon, with the exception of an emergent condition when lifesaving options may be initiated without consent if the individual does not have capacity for a Q and A. Treatment options for a brain aneurysm may include the following.
- Surgical clipping
- Endovascular coiling
- Drug therapy that involves channel blockers, pain relievers, anti-seizure medications.
Outcome from Brain Aneurysm Treatment
The outcome from treatment for an aneurysm that has not ruptured is generally good when the aneurysm is diagnosed early. With appropriate and timely treatment, individuals may live long and live healthy. If an aneurysm ruptures before treatment, the risk of brain injury and death increases significantly. Individuals that survive a brain aneurysm rupture may go on to live a normal life or may benefit from rehabilitation to compensate for brain injury disabilities. These therapies may include physical, occupational, speech, and cognitive retraining.
It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.