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Are There Any Warning Signs Before A Brain Aneurysm

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Do Aneurysms Show Warning Signs

Are there warning signs for brain aneurysms?

    When you have a brain aneurysm, you have a blood-filled bulge in a vessel within your brain. Without treatment, these damaged vessel walls can continue to weaken, which can lead the aneurysm to grow larger or burst. This is very dangerous, because if it bursts, this leads to bleeding in the brain, a condition known as hemorrhagic stroke.

    While this may sound frightening, most aneurysms dont rupture. In fact, 50-80% of brain aneurysms remain intact for a persons lifetime. However, when they do rupture, they require urgent medical attention. Because of this, its important to learn to spot a potential problem as quickly as possible.

    At Cerebrum MD in Tysons Corner, Vienna, Virginia, Joseph Watson, MD, provides innovative neurological solutions for brain conditions, including aneurysms. Heres what you need to know about this complex problem and when to schedule an appointment with Dr.Watson.

    What Happens During A Rupture

    It’s not like blood is just squirting out, Riina says. “That might happen for a few seconds, but usually a little platelet plug forms almost immediately.”

    Some patients, like Colagrossi, may suffer very small leaks in the days or weeks leading up to a major rupture. But even small amounts of blood are “very irritating” to your brain, Riina says. The leaked blood increases the pressure inside your cranium. Also, leaks or ruptures divert blood from brain regions and tissues that require a steady supply.

    Both the pressure and the lack of sufficient blood caused by a ruptured aneurysm can lead quickly to unconsciousness and death. Riina says 30% to 50% of sufferers will die as soon as an aneurysm ruptures.

    Whats The Outlook For People With A Brain Aneurysm

    With early medical treatment, survival is possible with minimal damage. Increased survival rates are associated with early diagnosis, aneurysm repair, and control of blood vessel spasms. The longer a person waits to get treatment, the bleaker the outlook becomes.

    Studies show that ruptured aneurysms result in death before medical care begins for 15% of people. Plus, 50% of ruptures that dont receive treatment result in death within a month. If it is left untreated, there is a risk of re-bleed within two weeks of the occurrence.

    With immediate medical attention being essential, watch for the symptoms so that you can begin treatment. After treatment, recovery can be quick if brain damage isnt severe.

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    What Should You Do If You Think You Have An Aneurysm

    If you have a family history of brain aneurysms or you feel like you may have one, speak with your doctor about your concerns. To detect a brain aneurysm, you would have to have a brain scan that allows your doctor to see the blood vessels in your brain as the blood shows through. Possible types of brain scans include:

    • Computed tomographic angiography : This type of brain scan follows dye that was injected into your vein as it travels through the blood vessels in your brain.
    • Magnetic resonance angiography : An MRA is similar to a CT scan, but while a CT scan uses radiation similar to X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging machines use magnetic and radio waves to make the images on a screen.
    • Diagnostic cerebral angiography : Although a DCA can detect smaller aneurysms than a CTA or MRA can, this test is not usually a first choice as it is an invasive procedure. A small incision is made in your groin so your doctor can insert a long catheter that is threaded up to your neck and your brain. A dye is injected through the catheter, and X-rays are taken of your brain as the dye flows through the blood vessels.

    Where Can I Get More Information

    What are the Warning Signs of a Brain Aneurysm?

    For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

    Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

    NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

    All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

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    The Warning Signs Of A Brain Aneurysm

    The symptoms and signs of a ruptured aneurysm include:

    • A severe headache that comes out of nowhere
    • Blurred vision
    • Drooping eyelids
    • Passing out

    An unruptured aneurysm might not initially have any symptoms, but that usually changes as it grows larger. The warning signs that indicate a person has developed an unruptured brain aneurysm include:

    • Pain behind or above an eye
    • Double vision
    • Numbness on one side of the patient’s face

    Patients are advised to seek immediate medical attention if:

    • They have a severe headache that is incomparable in pain to past headaches suddenly occurs
    • They have a seizure
    • They lose consciousness

    There Aren’t Always Warning Signs Before An Aneurysm

    If you have an aneurysm that hasn’t ruptured, you often won’t experience symptoms. However, if the aneurysm ruptures, it often comes with pain at the location of the rupture. This could take the form of an extreme headache, chest pain, or abdominal pain.

    A brain aneurysm may come with symptoms like sudden dizziness, blurred vision, and seizures. Some may feel nauseous, vomit, become confused, or have a drooping eyelid . Typically, these symptoms are sudden and require immediate emergency care.

    In some cases, you might get warning signs because a large aneurysm is pressing on a nerve, like changes in your vision or a headache, according to George P. Teitelbaum, MD, an interventional neuroradiologist and director of the Stroke & Aneurysm Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

    “You’re fortunate if those symptoms occur,” Teitelbaum says. “Most occur without any symptoms. The first sign that most people have is when they rupture.”

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    When And Why A Brain Aneurysm Requires Surgery

    A brain aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in a blood vessel that can potentially burst. Between 1.5 and 5 percent of people have or develop a brain aneurysm, according to the American Stroke Association.

    Given the diagnosis, Mureddu and her husband, Chuck, went online to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation and found an experienced surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for the operation. But it would be another month until she was wheeled into the operating room.

    Her surgeon explained that when she had felt pain in her head, the aneurysm had bled. He didnt expect it to bleed again in the next four weeks, and he needed the time to study the best way to proceed with the surgery. Mureddus aneurysm was considered giant at 3.1 centimeters. Any aneurysm over 2.5 centimeters one inch is termed giant, according to MGHs Neurovascular Center. Hers also had veins going through it, which meant the surgeon wouldnt be able to just clip it off. He would have to do two bypasses.

    Although she’d had no symptoms until that day at the gym, her doctors suspected Mureddu had had the brain aneurysm for some time.

    She had a history of 23 years of migraines, she says. I would get 12 to 18 migraines a month where I would get sick. But I lived in three states during those 23 years, and no one ordered a scan of my head.

    How Do Doctors Diagnose A Brain Aneurysm

    The warning signs of a brain aneurysm

    A brain aneurysm may cause symptoms such as headaches or double vision. Many times, they cause no symptoms at all. Because of this, doctors often are first alerted to a brain aneurysm through an imaging scan you might get for a completely different reason.

    Doctors use multiple tests to confirm a brain aneurysm diagnosis:

    • MRA: A magnetic resonance angiogram scan is a type of MRI scan that’s specifically for blood vessels.
    • CTA: This is a special type of CT scan that focuses on the blood vessels.
    • Angiogram: For a traditional angiogram, doctors insert a catheter into your body to see your blood vessels more clearly. It’s the gold standard for diagnosing brain aneurysms because it gives a 3-D view of an aneurysm, offering precise details that help determine the best treatment for you.

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    What Is An Aneurysm

    An aneurysm occurs when pressure causes a weak point in a blood vessel to balloon. The small sac or bulge created is known as an aneurysm.

    When people talk about aneurysms, they are most often referring to brain aneurysms, also called cerebral or intracranial aneurysms, but aneurysms can also form in the abdomen or, more rarely, in the chest.

    The danger is that the brain aneurysm will burst. Ruptured aneurysms are fatal about half of the time, and more than half of those who survive suffer permanent brain damage.

    Not all brain aneurysms rupture. In fact, about 1 in 50 people in the United States has an unruptured aneurysm, and 50-80% of aneurysms dont burst during a persons life.

    Early and accurate diagnosis of a brain aneurysm is crucial. Unruptured aneurysms can often be treated before they burst. In the case of a ruptured aneurysm, immediate care may save a persons life and lessen brain damage.

    Rupture Signs And Symptoms

    The most common symptom is the worst headache of your life, or what Crawford calls the “W-H-O-L.”

    “People describe it as like being struck by a bolt of lightning,” Riina says. That headache could be accompanied by the neck stiffness, face tingling, and light sensitivity Colagrossi experienced. Some people also report hearing a gunshot or boom when their rupture occurs.

    Seizures, a feeling of weakness in the limbs, blurry or double vision, and extreme tiredness are all associated symptoms.

    But a sudden, excruciating headache is really the hallmark of a rupture, Riina says. “The headache could be anywhere or all over, but patients usually describe it as being focused behind the eyes,” he adds.

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    Eye Or Vision Problems

    Cedars-Sinai Medical Center notes that a drooping eyelid or complaints of double vision are possible warning signs of a brain aneurysm pressing against a nerve or beginning to leak blood. A person may mention feeling pain behind or above one eye, or an observer may notice dilation of their pupils. Other early warning signs of a brain aneurysm include blurred vision and photophobia or light sensitivity, notes the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. These signs may precede a rupture by minutes or even weeks.

    • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center notes that a drooping eyelid or complaints of double vision are possible warning signs of a brain aneurysm pressing against a nerve or beginning to leak blood.

    Can Blood Test Detect Brain Aneurysm

    What is the Treatment Of An Un

    How do doctors diagnose a brain aneurysm?A brain aneurysm may cause symptoms such as headache ordouble vision. Doctors use multiple tests to confirm abrain aneurysm diagnosis: MRA: A magnetic resonanceangiogram scan is a type of MRI scan thatâs specifically forblood vessels.

    Besides, how do they test for brain aneurysm?

    A brain aneurysm is usually diagnosedusing an MRI scan and angiography , or a CT scan andangiography . An MRI scan is usually used to look foraneurysms in the brain that havenât ruptured. Thistype of scan uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves toproduce detailed images of your brain.

    Similarly, can a CT scan detect an unruptured aneurysm? Most unruptured aneurysms are discoveredincidentally during routine imaging of the brain, such as an MRI orCT scan .Additionally, some persons might be prompted to have imagingperformed due to the onset of other neurological symptoms, such asheadaches or visual disturbances.

    Hereof, are there any warning signs of a brain aneurysm?

    Common signs and symptoms of a rupturedaneurysm include: Sudden, extremely severe headache. Nauseaand vomiting. Stiff neck.

    Can eye test detect aneurysm?

    An eye exam can show increased pressurewithin the brain, including swelling of the optic nerve or bleedinginto the retina of the eye. The following tests mightbe used to diagnose cerebral aneurysm and determine thecause of bleeding within the brain: CT scan of thehead.

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    Treating An Unruptured Aneurysm

    A flow diverter, endovascular coiling or surgical clipping can be used to close off an unruptured aneurysm and inhibit it from leaking or rupturing in the future. However, for some patients, the risk of these procedures might outweigh their benefits.

    The threat the aneurysm poses to the patient’s health will be evaluated by a neurologist and an interventional neuroradiologist or neurosurgeon to determine if treatment is appropriate.

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    Brain Aneurysm: An Overview

    A brain aneurysm is a condition, which occurs when a weak spot in the arterial walls of your brain bulges and gets filled with blood. This might also be called a cerebral aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm. It is a potentially life-threatening condition affecting anyone at any age. It would be an emergency if a brain aneurysm bursts and it can cause brain damage, a stroke, and even death if it is not treated immediately.

    We would mention that all brain aneurysms will not rupture. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, it has been found that around 6 million people in the US have some forms of brain aneurysms that have not ruptured. It is estimated that 50% to 80% of all brain aneurysms will never rupture in an individuals lifetime.

    A brain aneurysm can sometimes cause serious injury to the brain, and thus it is essential to know what they are or what are the signs of a brain aneurysm. Brain aneurysms can take several forms.

    It has been stated by Stanford Health Care that almost 90% of brain aneurysms are saccular, or berry aneurysms. This type of aneurysm forms a sac outside the artery that seems to look like a berry. A fusiform aneurysm is a rare aneurysm that results in the artery to bulge all the way around. A brain aneurysm can also take the form of a dissecting aneurysm where there is a tear in one of the several linings of the artery in the brain. This can leak blood into the outer layers and also block the artery.

    Signs Of A Brain Aneurysm You Should Know

    Warning signs to spot a brain aneurysm

    One of the potentially life-threatening conditions could be a brain aneurysm. This is a condition that affects the brain and it can take several forms. It is better to know about the signs of a brain aneurysm to avoid any delay in the diagnosis and treatment procedure. Read below to know about the 6 signs of a brain aneurysm you should know.

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    Sudden Extremely Severe Headache:

    If there is a brain aneurysm, one might experience a sudden extremely severe headache. A sudden and severe headache is basically the key symptom of a ruptured aneurysm. Usually, this type of headache is generally described as the worst headache ever experienced by someone in a lifetime. In case of a leaking brain aneurysm, the aneurysm might leak a slight amount of blood, and this leaking of blood can cause an extremely severe sudden headache. Such headaches are associated with vomiting, nausea, and change in vision. You should talk to your healthcare professional about your condition and get yourself diagnosed and treated well.

    Do Not Take Chances With Your Health

    A brain aneurysm can potentially be life-threatening, so head to our clinic for evaluation if you have any of the symptoms.

    Request an appointment here: or call Brain and Spine Neuroscience Institute at for an appointment in our Lutz office.

    Check out what others are saying about our services on Google: .

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    How Are Cerebral Aneurysms Diagnosed

    Most cerebral aneurysms go unnoticed until they rupture or are detected during medical imaging tests for another condition.

    If you have experienced a severe headache or have any other symptoms related to a ruptured aneurysm your doctor will order tests to determine if blood has leaked into the space between the skull bone and brain.

    Several tests are available to diagnose brain aneurysms and determine the best treatment. These include:

    What Is The Outlook For Someone With A Brain Aneurysm

    Brain Surgeon Explains the Warning Signs of An Aneurysm to Never Ignore

    Not all aneurysms will rupture. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, about 6.5 million people in the United States have brain aneurysms that havent ruptured. In fact, an estimated 50 to 80 percent of all brain aneurysms never rupture in a persons lifetime.

    According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 50 percent of individuals dying within 3 months.

    Because of this, its important to be vigilant in monitoring existing aneurysms as well as taking steps to prevent them from rupturing. Its possible that your doctor may recommend surgical treatment for aneurysms that are large or at an increased risk of rupturing.

    If you notice signs of rupture, its vital to seek immediate medical care to increase your chance of survival and recovery.

    After a rupture, recovery can take weeks to months, and its likely that youll need physical, occupational, or speech therapy during this time. Its also possible that you may never fully recover, depending on the severity of the damage.

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