A brain aneurysm is the enlargement or protrusion of the blood vessels of the brain due to weakening of the walls of blood vessels. This protrusion will look like a hanging berry.
An enlarged and ruptured brain aneurysm can cause bleeding and brain damage. For example, if it occurs in the brain stem, a brain aneurysm can cause a brain stem stroke. Although it can be suffered by anyone, brain aneurysms are most commonly experienced by women over the age of 40.
Brain Aneurysm Causes
A brain aneurysm occurs when the walls of blood vessels weaken or thinning. The cause behind the weakening of the walls of blood vessels is yet to be ascertained. However, there are several factors that are suspected to increase the risk of this condition, namely:
- Suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure
- Over 40 years old
- Gender of women, especially those who are already menopausal
- Has a history of head injuries
- Has a history of consuming excessive amounts of alco**hol or using drugs (especially co**caine)
- Have a smo**king habit
- Has a history of brain aneurysms in the family.
In addition to these factors, there are several diseases that can increase the risk of brain aneurysms, namely:
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Arterial-venous malformations
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
- Marfan Syndrome.
Brain Aneurysm Symptoms
Generally, there will be no symptoms that appear if the aneurysm in the brain does not rupture. This makes the sufferer often unaware of this abnormality. Brain aneurysms are generally known from routine medical checkups. However, a large aneurysm can suppress the surrounding tissue or nerve, resulting in various complaints, such as:
- Blurry or dual view.
- Pain above and behind the eyes.
- It’s hard to talk.
- Weakness and numbness on the faces.
A brain aneurysm can cause serious symptoms and become an emergency condition if ruptured, such as:
- Sudden headache.
- Stiffness in the neck.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Balance disorders, making it difficult to walk.
- Pain when see the light.
- Loss of consciousness.
Brain Aneurysm Diagnosis
Brain aneurysms are diagnosed through CT scans, MRIs, and/or angiography.
Brain Aneurysm Therapy
Brain Aneurysms should be treated immediately to avoid fatal consequences. The following therapeutic objectives are to stop the aneurysm from rupturing, or prevent bleeding if the aneurysm has ruptured:
1# Bypass Procedure
It is used to change the route of blood flow around the clogged part of the artery (performed at the same time while carrying out the occlusion procedure).
2# Endovascular procedure
A catheter inserted from the groin and directed towards the blood vessels of the affected brain. Platinum coils are then released into the aneurysm to induce the formation of blood clots.
3# Aneurysm Clamping Microsurgery
The surgeon places a clamp around the swollen aneurysm to cut off the blood supply and prevent further bleeding.
This open surgical procedure blocks blood flow to the aneurysm through the arteries.
Brain Aneurysm Prevention
For not ruptured aneurysms, an assessment will be carried out on whether there is a high risk of rupturing the aneurysm. If any, it can be recommended to take precautionary measures.
Here are some things you can do to prevent an aneurysm from rupturing or thinning:
- No smo**king
- Limit caffeine consumption
- Not abusing NAPZA
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
When to consult a doctor?
Brain aneurysms generally appear in the arteries (blood vessels) of the lower brain. If you or someone you know is experiencing a very severe headache suddenly seek immediate medical attention.
What will the doctor do at the time of consultation?
A neurologist or neurosurgeon will ask you a few questions before determining the best course of action. These questions include:
- Do you smo**ke?
- How much alco**hol do you drink?
- Does your family have a history of brain aneurysms?