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What is an Aneurysm?

A Brain Aneurysm, also called a cerebral or intracranial aneurysm, is a weak bulge in the blood vessel in the brain. The bulge is similar to a bulge in an inner tube or a thin balloon. There are also aneurysms that are not present in the brain. Aneurysms can occur in any blood vessel in the body. They tend to form where the artery divides or branches off.

Brain aneurysms can and do grow. If they reach a certain size, usually over one inch, the aneurysm may begin to put pressure on the surrounding brain and cause progressive problems. These are called Giant aneurysms.

Aneurysms are very uncommon in patients below 20 years of age. Aneurysms are most common in older patients. Aneurysms are rare in childhood and adolescence.

What are the symptoms of a Brain Aneurysm?

The most common symptom of a brain aneurysm is a severe headache. There are many symptoms of a brain aneurysm and each person with an aneurysm may not experience the same symptoms.

Some of the other symptoms of a brain aneurysm are: Localized Headache, Nausea & Vomiting, Stiff Neck or Neck Pain, Blurred Vision or Double Vision, Pain Above and Behind Eye, Dilated Pupils, Sensitivity to Light (photophobia), and Loss of Sensation.

How do Brain Aneurysms develop?

It is unclear why a person develops a brain aneurysm. It appears that aneurysms are related to an absence of a muscular layer that makes up part of the blood vessels that over time stretches and thins. After the blood vessels has stretched and thinned too much, the aneurysm occurs.

What are the Dangers of having an Aneurysm?

Some of the major dangers of having an aneurysm is having a stroke or dying. If an aneurysms breaks open and bleeds into the brain, a stroke or death may occur. This bleeding is called a hemorrhage, or rupture. Ruptures are usually very serious. Sixty percent of people with ruptures will die within a year.

Can Aneurysms be Treated?

Yes. Aneurysms can be treated by surgery. Surgery is usually performed to avoid rebleeding.

What are the Risk Factors of Developing and Aneurysm?

Some of the risk factors of developing an aneurysm are:

Aneurysm Statistics

  • Studies show that about 3%-5% of the United States population has brain aneurysms.
  • Approximately 2,000,000 people in the United States have unruptured brain aneurysms.
  • Women are more likely to get brain aneurysms than men, with a ratio of 3:2.

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