What does it feel like to have a brain aneurysm? One thing is that a brain aneurysm comes all of sudden without a prior indication and you are likely to experience severe headache, seizures, vomiting and nausea, lose consciousness and neck pain. If you experience these symptoms or if you see someone who is having these symptoms then it is very crucial to go to emergency room right away.
A brain aneurysm is a bulge present on a weak area in the wall of the artery that is accountable for supplying the blood to the brain. In many of the cases, it is not possible to detect a brain aneurysm because the illness does not show any symptoms, which makes it easy for a neurologist to check for the presence of the disease in the first place. However, at times, a rupture occurs in the artery releasing the blood into the cerebral region that results in a stroke.
The rupturing of a brain aneurysm is known as subarachnoid hemorrhage. Brain damage or death occurs according to the condition/severity that the individual is experiencing. The occurrence of a brain aneurysm is common among all the patients. The location is at the bottom of the brain where there is a network of blood vessels. The network goes by the name of the circle of Willis.
What is the Reason Behind the Occurrence?
It is possible for any individual to possess a brain aneurysm due to inheritance or hardening of the arteries. It is possible to control the risk factors that are responsible for increasing or decreasing the brain aneurysm. The following risk factors possess a high degree of volatility if an individual is already suffering from a brain aneurysm:
- Family history
- A previous case of a brain aneurysm
- Presence of blood pressure
As stated earlier, it is difficult to find out the presence of a brain aneurysm in the beginning stage because it does not show any signs or symptoms. However, it is possible to discover the existence during other tests, usually unrelated to a brain aneurysm. In most of the cases, doctors can only recognize its presence after the occurrence of the rupture. It is here that the individual suffers from neck pain, increased severity of headaches, blurred vision, and change in speech. These symptoms and the severity change according to the area of the rupture. It is necessary for anyone to seek immediate medical attention if they show or sense the following symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Sudden appearance of a headache and increased severity
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
How to Find its Presence?
If the physician believes that an individual is suffering from a brain aneurysm, he/she will perform the following tests to confirm the presence and the severity:
- Computed tomography scan
- Computed tomography angiogram scan
- Magnetic resonance angiography
- Cerebral angiogram
Before proceeding with the treatment, the doctor will think in several ways and consider different aspects so that he can offer the appropriate treatment procedure. Things that the doctor will think include the age, the size of a brain aneurysm, additional risk factors that develop due to the treatment, and the overall health.
If a brain aneurysm measures less than 10 MM, the chances for rupturing are low. In such cases, the physician will continue to observe the condition rather than opting for the surgery because of the high risk associated with the same. The physician will provide instructions that will help in keeping the blood vessels in healthy condition. It includes maintaining required blood pressure and quitting smoking.
On the contrary, if the size of an aneurysm is greater than 10 MM or there is a rupture, surgery is the only option. Endovascular embolization and surgical clipping are the procedures performed by the physician for both unruptured and ruptured brain aneurysms.
- The Lancet (Journal): Article: “International study of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (ISUIA)” DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08864-6
- Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery (JNIS): Article: “Treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms” DOI: 10.1136/jnis.2008.000687
- Journal of Neurosurgery: Article: “Surgical clipping of unruptured intracranial aneurysms: A propensity score-matched analysis comparing outcomes with coiling” DOI: 10.3171/2016.7.JNS16736
- Circulation (Journal): Article: “Endovascular therapy for unruptured intracranial aneurysms: Systematic review and meta-analysis” DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.038494