Vanchilingam Hospital Thanjavur

.

.

BRAIN ANEURYSM

Headache

We make sure that sufficient care is provided to the children so that they are able to lead a normal life.

Brain Aneurysm

A brain aneurysm refers to the bulging of a blood vessel in the brain, often resembling a berry hanging on a stem. These aneurysms have the potential to rupture or leak, leading to a hemorrhagic stroke in the brain. Ruptured brain aneurysms are most commonly found in the space between the brain and the thin tissues covering it, a condition known as subarachnoid hemorrhage. The rapid expansion of a ruptured aneurysm can pose a life-threatening situation, requiring prompt medical intervention for effective treatment.

Brain Aneurysms: Understanding Causes and Risks

While most brain aneurysms do not rupture and cause health issues, detecting them through tests or other diagnostic methods is crucial. In some cases, treatment may be necessary to prevent future ruptures. Consultation with a doctor is essential to explore the best options for your specific situation.

Causes of Brain Aneurysms

The precise cause of brain aneurysms remains unidentified. These aneurysms develop due to the thinning of artery walls, typically occurring at the branching points where the walls are weaker. Although they can form anywhere, they are more commonly found at the base of the brain. While no specific cause is known, there are identifiable risk factors associated with their occurrence.

What are the risk factors?

These brain aneurysms are much more common in adults than in children. Also, there are more common in women than in men. Some of the risk factors might develop over time while others are present at birth. The ones that develop over time include:

  • smoking cigarettes

  • older age

  • hypertension or high blood pressure

  • abuse of drugs, generally cocaine

  • heavy consumption of alcohol

Some of the types of aneurysms might even form after blood infections (mycotic aneurysm) or head injuries (dissecting aneurysms).

The risk factors that are present at birth would include:

  • polycystic kidney disease – This disorder is inherited and would result in sacks filled with fluids in the kidneys, resulting in higher blood pressure

  • inherited connective tissue disorders – It includes Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a condition that affects the blood vessels.

  • cerebral arteriovenous malformation – This is an abnormal connection between the veins and the arteries in the brain that interrupts the normal flow of blood between them

  • abnormally narrow aorta

  • family history of brain aneurysms – If a first-degree relative like parents, siblings or children has such problems

What are the symptoms of the disorder?

The symptoms would depend on the state of an aneurysm.

Ruptured Aneurysm

The key symptoms would be a sudden and severe headache. This is sometimes described as the ‘worst headache’ at times. The common signs would include:

  • nausea and vomiting

  • a stiff neck

  • a drooping eyelid

  • confusion

  • loss of consciousness

  • double or blurred vision

  • seizure

  • a sensitiveness to light

Leaking aneurysm

Sometimes, a slight amount of blood might leak from an aneurysm. Leaking or sentinel bleeding would typically cause a severe headache. A severe rupture generally follows a headache.

Unharmed aneurysms

Unruptured brain aneurysms, especially if they are small, may not produce any symptoms.A larger one might compress brain nerves and tissues, causing:

  • a dilated pupil

  • numbness on one side of the face

  • a change in vision or blurred vision

  • pain above or behind the eyes

When is it time to visit the doctor?

It is essential to seek immediate medical attention if there is a sudden and extreme headache.