The Bulge in Brain Aneurysm
Symptoms and diagnosis Brain Aneurysm
By Neurosurgery Singapore
A brain aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain. An aneurysm often looks like a berry hanging on a stem.
Such condition can leak or rupture, causing bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). Most often, a ruptured brain aneurysm occurs in the space between the brain and the thin tissues covering the brain. This type of hemorrhagic stroke is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
A ruptured aneurysm quickly becomes life-threatening and requires prompt medical treatment.
Most brain aneurysms, however, don’t rupture, create health problems or cause symptoms. Such aneurysms are often detected during tests for other conditions.
What are some symptoms of Brain Aneurysm?
The type of symptoms you have from a brain aneurysm depend on whether it ruptures or not:
- Intense headache that comes on suddenly
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of balance in things like walking and normal coordination
- Stiff neck
- Dilated pupils
- Sensitivity to light
- Sudden blurred or double vision
- Drooping eyelid
- Confusion or trouble with mental awareness
- Dilated pupils
- Blurred or double vision
- Drooping eyelid
- A hard time speaking
- Weakness and numbness in one side of your face
“Brain aneurysms can occur in all age groups, but has a higher incidence among those aged 40 – 60 and in women. It is more common in people with genetic diseases where multiple cysts grow in the kidney and circulatory disorders where abnormal and poorly formed blood vessels tangle together .”
What types of diagnosis?
To find out if you have a brain aneurysm, our Neurosurgeon will order an imaging test. These tests show the size, shape and location of brain aneurysms:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
- CT (computed tomography).
- Diagnostic cerebral angiogram
- MRA (magnetic resonance angiography).
- CTA (computed tomography angiography).
Occasionally, a ruptured aneurysm may not show on the initial imaging test. If your symptoms point to a ruptured aneurysm, our doctor may perform a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). This test shows whether there’s blood in the fluid surrounding your brain.
What types of treatments?
There are two common treatment options for a ruptured brain aneurysm.
- Surgical clipping is a procedure to close off an aneurysm. Our neurosurgeon may removes a section of your skull to access the aneurysm and locates the blood vessel that feeds the aneurysm. Then he places a tiny metal clip on the neck of the aneurysm to stop blood flow into it.
Endovascular treatment is a less invasive procedure than surgical clipping. Our surgeon may inserts a catheter into an artery, usually in your wrist or groin, and threads it through your body to the aneurysm.
He then uses a device — a flow diverter, an intraluminal flow disrupter, a stent or coils — or different combinations of various devices to destroy the aneurysm from inside the blood vessel.
An unruptured brain aneurysm may cause zero symptoms. People can live with them for years before detection. If a brain aneurysm is unruptured, no blood has broken through the blood vessel walls. This means the “balloon” in your blood vessel remains intact.
For unruptured condition, our Specialist may treat aneurysms that are more likely to bleed and leave certain others alone.
Once it bleeds, or ruptures, it requires immediate medical care.
If you the condition is unruptured, you may lower the risk of its rupture by making these lifestyle changes:
- Don’t smoke or use recreational drugs. If you smoke or use recreational drugs, talk to our doctor about strategies or an appropriate treatment program to help you quit.
- Control your blood pressure if you have high blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise. Changes in diet and exercise can help lower blood pressure. Talk to our Specialist about changes that are appropriate for you.