Brain Aneurysm

What is a brain aneurysm?

A brain aneurysm is an abnormal widening of an artery or vein in the brain. Brain aneurysms are caused by a weakness in the wall of an artery or vein within the brain.

How does a brain aneurysm occur?

Brain aneurysms may result from a congenital malformation (birth defect) of a blood vessel, high blood pressure which damages the blood vessels, arteriosclerosis (build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries), or head trauma.

Who is at risk for a brain aneurysm?

Brain aneurysms can occur at any age. Although they are more common in adults, they can and do occur in children.

Is there any warning before an aneurysm ruptures?

The onset of bleeding from a ruptured brain aneurysm is usually sudden and without warning.

Sometimes, however, the individual may experience the sudden onset of symptoms such as severe headache, nausea, vision impairment, vomiting, and loss of consciousness before the aneurysm ruptures.

How serious is the rupture of a brain aneurysm?

Very serious.

The rupture of a brain aneurysm is dangerous. It involves bleeding in the brain or in the area surrounding the brain which causes an accumulation of blood, usually clotted, within the skull (intracranial hematoma).

Other complications of a rupture include repeated episodes of bleeding, hydrocephalus (the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid), and spasm of the blood vessels of the brain.

The presence of one brain aneurysm may also be an indicator of multiple other brain aneurysms.