Brain aneurysm symptoms has been responsible for the deaths of millions of people yearly.
Brain aneurysm, also known as cerebral aneurysm, is a dreaded condition that will come out of nowhere and without any warning. When these aneurysms rupture, they will lead to what is popularly known as hemorrhagic stroke. Studies have shown that ten to fifteen percent of people that have brain aneurysms will die before they even reach the hospital. And for those that have survived, they will be suffering from permanent neurologic damage all their lives. Some of these people may become hemiplegics, having the use of only one side of their bodies, while others with more severe damage might become human vegetables for life – maintained on life support and fed through tubes. However, there are also those lucky ones that have very minor damage and were able to get to the hospital on time. These people will only exhibit minimal paralysis on certain body parts, mostly the face, and with regular rehabilitation, will regain the full use of their body once again.
In this article, we will be exploring the ins and outs of brain aneurysm: the risk factors, the causes, how they are diagnosed and popular methods employed when treating people suffering from this condition.
What is Brain aneurysm?
Brain aneurysm is the out pouching of a blood vessel wall in the brain. The major supplier of blood to the brain will be the vertebrobasiliar and the carotid arteries. These arteries will have little branch arteries that distribute blood evenly to the different parts of the brain. Now, the juncture between these arteries is not as strong as the arterial walls, and this is where the aneurysm happens.
What Causes Brain Aneurysms?
They are caused by a variety of factors. They would be the following:
- Atheroslerosis or hardening of the arteries
- Trauma or head injury
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal blood flow
- Drug abuse
- Infections of the arterial walls
What are the Risk Factors Associated with Brain Aneurysm?
The risk factors for developing brain aneurysm symptoms do not differ much from its causes. However, there are some risk factors that were not mentioned above. They would be:
- An unhealthy diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Advanced age
- Regular, heavy alcohol drinking
What are the Brain Aneurysm Symptoms?
The manifestation of brain aneurysm symptoms actually vary from person to person. There are some people who are asymptomatic and never show any symptoms at all, while there are others who do. The aneurysm symptoms can be classified into two types: unruptured and ruptured.
People with unruptured aneurysms usually do not show any brain aneurysm symptoms. At this stage, there is only an out pouching of the blood vessel wall. There might be some blood leaking involved, but it is not severe enough to cause death. However, there are a certain percentage of patients with unruptured aneurysms that manifest symptoms. They would be the following:
- Problems with peripheral vision
- Problems with perception, concentration and processing of information
- Changes in short-term memory
- Speech problems
- Activity intolerance and balance problems
Ruptured aneurysms are the ones that usually manifest signs and symptoms. Ruptured aneurysms are also called hemorrhagic stroke. They would have the following manifestations:
- Nausea which may be accompanied by vomiting
- Pain in the neck area
- Vision problems
- Sudden, blinding headache
- Numbness and loss of sensation
How is Brain Aneurysm Diagnosed?
You cannot just say outright that a person is suffering from an aneurysm by just basing on the symptoms alone. That person will have to undergo a lot of laboratory testing in order to have an accurate diagnosis. The following would be some of the most common laboratory tests a patient has to undergo:
- CT Scan or Computerized Tomography Scan is one of the most popular methods used by doctors to diagnose cerebral aneurysms. With the use of a CT scan machine, the doctor will be able to visualize the brain and pinpoint the areas where vessel out pouching and/or hemorrhage has occurred.
- MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is also another procedure that is commonly performed in people suspected of cerebral aneurysm. It differs from CT scan in a way that it uses magnetic waves which is then translated into pictures, where a CT scan uses X-rays.
- In some cases, and angiography is performed in patients that have a confirmed diagnosis. An angiography is an upfront visualization of the damaged vessel by injecting a dye and inserting a thin tube into the brains arteries. This thin tube would contain a fiber optic camera on its tip which could record videos and/or take pictures of the blood vessels of the brain.
Brain aneurysms symptoms are very dangerous and could often lead to death. Make sure that you and the people you love are safe by practicing a healthy diet and lifestyle, and have annual executive check-ups to make sure that your body is functioning as it should. Be responsible for your health.