Aneurysm is an abnormal expansion of blood vessels. Cerebral aneurysm, also referred as Brain aneurysm is an abnormal expansion of blood vessels in the brain. At the base of the brain is a tangle of arteries that make up the so-called Willis circle from which it continues to branch off to the arteries that supply the brain. Crossroads of these arteries are the most common places where cerebral aneurysms arise. They can occur in all, including the children, but is more common in adults aged 35-60 years, more frequently in women.
Over time, the artery wall becomes weaker in one spot and then the pressure of blood against the wall “blows up” like a balloon and creates an extension that may be in the form of bags (then called saccular aneurysms and represents the most common form) or spindle-shaped (fusiform aneurysms). As expansion increases so does the “bag” and creates a wider neck, which is connected to an artery. When brain aneurysms are small, they don’t pose a greater threat, but as they grow and become larger, so does the risk of rupture (rupture) and spilling blood in the area between the brain and the membrane that separates it from the skull. This situation is especially dangerous to life.
Brain Aneurysm Symptoms
In a number of cases, people with brain aneurysm have absolutely no symptoms.
Since by its growth aneurysm may compress surrounding tissue from which it is situated, the symptoms may occur. Brain aneurysm symptoms are:
- Double vision
- Lowered eyelids of one eye
- Nerve palsy
- Pain behind or above the eye, trigeminal neuralgia
- Unequal pupils
And symptoms of ruptured brain aneurysm are:
- Sudden, very (as never before) severe headache
- Nausea, vomiting
- Neck stiffness (not immediately)
- Changes of consciousness to coma
Aspirin is a good way for headache relief.
Brain Aneurysm Causes
- Head injuries
- Alcohol and some drugs and oral contraceptives
- If someone in family had aneurysm
- Some genetic and hereditary diseases (poly-cystic kidneys, Marfan syndrome, AV malformations, etc.)
Brain Aneurysm Recovery
There are several methods of brain imaging that can show or suggest the existence of an cerebral aneurysm, that is bleeding after rupture:
- CT of brain: can show bleeding into the sub-arachnoid space or originated from a ruptured brain aneurysm, and larger, calcified aneurysm.
- MRI and MRA brain aneurysm (angiography) can display the detailed structure of the brain and blood vessels of the brain, and the larger aneurysm.
Whether it is a ruptured brain aneurysm or not, the therapy is the same.
It is a neurosurgical procedure in which a neurosurgeon enters inside of the skull and places a thin metal clip near the “gates” of aneurysm that squeezes pitcher neck aneurysm and prevents the supply of blood inside.
A procedure similar to angiography where the catheter reaches the aneurysm and inserts small metal coil or latex balloon inside of aneurysm, which stops the circulation of blood and thrombus occurs, which closes it.
In cases where it is discovered that a person has a small, non-symptomatic aneurysm it depends on size, location, growth of the aneurysm, the patient’s age, will some of these methods be applied, or they will be monitored regularly, since at a small brain aneurysms the risk is low, and the risk of surgery may be higher. In either way if you notice any of the symptoms of brain aneurysm mentioned above, you should talk to your doctor immediately.