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A brain aneurysm is a bulging weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. Aneurysms can be inherited or be caused by the hardening of the arteries, and aging. Some risk factors can be prevented, some can not. Risk factors may increase your risk for an aneurysm, or if you have already an aneurysm it may increase your risk of rupturing it. Causes: Risk Factors: Family History: People in who have family in the past with aneurysms are more likely to have them the those who do not. Previous Aneurysm: People who have had them previously are more likely to get them again. Gender: Women are more likely to develop brain aneurysm Race: African Americans are more likely to get them than whites High Blood Pressure: A greater chance for aneurysm with history of high blood pressure Smoking: the use of cigarettes greatly increase the chances of a brain aneurysm rupturing. Symptoms: Brain Aneurysms have no symptoms and are usually only found during non-related testing. In some cases, an unruptured aneurysm will cause problems by pressing on areas in the brain. When this happens, the person may suffer from severe headaches, blurred vision, changes in speech, and neck pain, depending on what areas of the of the brain are affected and bad the aneurysm is. Ruptured aneurysms often come on suddenly and unexpectedly.
Diagnosis: Because many times aneurysms do not have any symptoms they are usually found while diagnosing a different disease. However if your doctor does suspect an aneurysms they could do the following test: A CT Scan: This will help find bleeding spots in the brain A CTA Scan: CTA is a more precise method of evaluating blood vessels. A MRA Scan: MRA uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of the blood vessels in the body Cerebral angiogram: During this X-ray test, a catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin or arm and moved up through the vessel into the brain. A dye is then injected into the cerebral artery. As with the above tests, the dye allows any problems in the artery, including aneurysms, to be seen on the X-ray. Although this test is more invasive and carries more risk than the above tests, it is the best way to locate small (less than 5 mm) brain aneurysms.
Treatment: If an aneurysm is small and rupturing has low possibly, your doctor may wait and observe you because surgery can be risky and dangerous. If your aneurysm is large, causing pain, or you have a history of rupturing your doctor may recommend surgery. 2 types of surgery can be done for ruptured and unruptured aneurysms: Endovascular embolization. During this procedure, a small tube is inserted into the affected artery and positioned near the aneurysm. For coil embolization, soft metal coils are then moved through the tube into the aneurysm, filling the aneurysm and making it less likely to rupture. In mesh embolization, mesh is placed in the aneurysm, reducing blood flow to the aneurysm and making it less likely to rupture. These procedures are less invasive than surgery. But they involve risks, including rupture of the aneurysm. Surgical clipping. This surgery involves placing a small metal clip around the base of the aneurysm to isolate it from normal blood circulation. This decreases the pressure on the aneurysm and prevents it from rupturing. Whether this surgery can be done depends on the location of the aneurysm, its size, and your general health.
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