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Brain Aneurysm

Brain Aneurysm Causes

Brain aneurysms develop as a consequence of age-related wear and tear on arteries of the brain. In general, most aneurysms form at the forks or branches of arteries because those areas are weaker. In rare cases, a trauma to the head or an infection may weaken the artery wall and cause an aneurysm.

Brain Aneurysm Definition

Brain aneurysm is characterized by a bulge forming in an artery of the brain, which may be tiny or large enough to put pressure on surrounding brain tissue.

Brain Aneurysm Diagnosis

A brain aneurysm is rarely diagnosed until it raptures or is detected accidentally through an unrelated imaging test. If there is family history of brain aneurysm, physicians will usually suggest screening scans such as: computerized tomography (CT) scan; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and cerebral arteriogram. A spinal tap may also be done if the patient shows symptoms of ruptured aneurysm.

Brain Aneurysm Symptoms and Signs

If brain aneurysm doesn't rupture, it rarely poses health risks and show little to no symptoms. However, large aneurysm, even if unruptured, puts pressure on brain tissues and nerves, leading to: dilated pupils; numbness, weakness, or paralysis of one side of the face; drooping eyelids; and pain above or behind the eye. If brain aneurysm does rapture, it can cause the following symptoms: nausea and vomiting; sudden and extremely severe headaches; stiff neck; double vision; and loss of consciousness.

Brain Aneurysm Treatment

Unruptured brain aneurysm rarely needs treatment. However, in cases where the aneurysm poses serious health risks, it may be treated with invasive procedures such as microvascular clipping procedure and endovascular embolization. Meanwhile, ruptured brain aneurysms may be treated with medications such as anticonvulsants, analgesics, and calcium channel blockers. In cases where patients develop hydrocephalus, shunt surgery may be required to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid out of the brain.

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