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Key Information About Brain Aneurysm

Updated on August 16, 2022
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Brain aneurysm occurs when a weak area in the brain artery bulges and fills with blood. Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 40 percent of cases.

Stars like Sharon Stone, Bret Michaels and Quincy Jones are among many people who have survived this condition.

Of those who survive, about 66 percent suffer some permanent neurological deficit.

It is difficult to estimate exactly how many people are affected by brain aneurysms as they usually cause no symptoms until they rupture, but experts believe it could be anywhere from 1 in 100 to as many as 1 in 20 people.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly suffering from this condition and had to be hospitalised at the end of 2021.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source


Saccular aneurysm
Fusiform aneurysm


Brain aneurysm has many causes including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, trauma, heredity, and abnormal blood flow at the junction where arteries come together.

Brain aneurysms can happen to anyone at any time, but they are more common in people over the age of 40.

"While we don't know the reasons why, women are more likely to have brain aneurysms than men. So it's really important for women to know the risk factors and take steps to reduce their risk," said Gavin Britz, M.D., a Houston Methodist neurosurgeon and director of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute.


Severe headache, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, blurred vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, seizure, drooping eyelid, loss of consciousness, and confusion are some known symptoms of brain aneurysm.

Judy Thorburn, 59, a mum-of-two, died of a brain aneurysm on July 1 2019 after ignoring her symptoms for months, thinking they were just migraines.

"I just had a feeling that something was wrong, because when the pain hit me, it made me freeze in place for maybe 15 to 20 seconds," said Downs-Hicks, an aneurysm rupture survivor.

Brain Aneurysm

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source


Computerized tomography, cerebrospinal fluid test, magnetic resonance imaging and cerebral angiogram are some procedures used to diagnose this severe brain disease.

[The] search for an aneurysm is one of the most labor-intensive and critical tasks radiologists undertake.

— Kristen Yeom, associate professor of radiology, Stanford University.


Small aneurysms that have not ruptured and are not causing symptoms may not need treatment.

Ruptured aneurysm needs emergency surgery. Without immediate repair, patients have a low chance of survival. They have a very short timeframe for treatment before they become fatal.

Stanford researchers have developed a new AI tool that can help detect brain aneurysms. This tool makes use of a deep learning model called HeadXNet to identify areas in the brain that are likely to have an aneurysm.

“There’s been a lot of concern about how machine learning will actually work within the medical field,” said Allison Park, a Stanford graduate student in statistics and co-lead author of the paper. “This research is an example of how humans stay involved in the diagnostic process, aided by an artificial intelligence tool.”

Endovascular coiling is a minimally invasive technique in which a catheter is inserted at the groin and passed through the body into the artery containing the aneurysm. Stent is introduced to prevent blood flow to the bulge.

The technique is an alternative to surgical clipping to close off an aneurysm that involves removing part of the skull to access the blood vessel.

Asan Medical Center's research team -- led by Professors Suh Dae-chul and Song Yun-sun at the Neurointervention Clinic, Department of Radiology -- used a new “Hook technique” successfully to insert the coil into the cerebral arteries to treat the disease.

A novel mesh plug that has been traditionally used to treat brain aneurysms occurring where the blood vessels branch out was found to be equally effective in treating aneurysms on the side of the vessel, according to a study in Radiology.

Among patients with hypertension and intracranial aneurysm, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors may reduce the risk for rupture compared with other classes of antihypertensive drugs, according to a study published online June 3 in Hypertension.

It wasn't until Kalvin one day said out of the blue, 'I'm so glad you made it through this mummy'.

That was my wake up call. It made me realise life doesn't stop after a brain injury - it's simply a new beginning.

— Lisa Ross, a brain aneurysm patient.


It is not possible to always prevent brain aneurysms, but you can lower your risk by not smoking and reducing high blood pressure.


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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R


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