Aneurysm of the brain symptoms and treatment

What is brain aneurysm and how it occurs

This disease represents a baggy expansion of blood vessels, which usually occurs in the area of ​​the branches of blood vessels - the base of the brain. A fierce and sudden headache, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness and changes in consciousness, from mild sleepiness up to coma, in people who already have been diagnosed with brain aneurysm (dilated blood vessels) indicates their cracking and bleeding in the brain, known as - effusion haemorrhage. Since brain aneurysm can lead to death in 40 percent of cases, the key is an emergency response to doctors, today the least invasive treatment method is recognized by endovascular intervention. Below find out how to act preventively, to recognize the problem and prevent cracking and serious complications that are life-threatening.

Aneurysm of the brain; symptoms and types of diseases

Symptoms of an aneurysm are usually absent, or if they are large and are pressing brain parenchyma or nerves, can cause severe headache, eye pain, and interference with vision, double vision, eyelid dropping and difficulty in walking and swallowing. Aneurysm of the brain is usually discovered incidentally, during a non-invasive diagnostic procedures on CT and MRI, because then the protocol for the sake of the blood vessels of the brain. These are usually people who have come to our attention due to frequent headaches or dizziness, and in which incidentally this disease is detected. When it comes to the rupture of the aneurysm, CT review of blood vessels of the brain is the method of choice in the diagnosis. Sometimes, in unclear cases, catheterization of blood vessels in the brain is used.

Aneurysm of the brain may be congenital or acquired: congenital weakness comes as a result of the vessel wall, and appears in 90 percent of cases, while the acquired aneurysm is a lot rarer disease and occurs as a result of closed or open head injuries, as well as due to different bacterial or fungal infections. A special form is a dissecting aortic aneurysm in the head, which occurs due to the split of the vessel wall. Its size varies and may be different - from two millimetres to five centimetres.

On average, it occurs in three to six percent of the total population. In the case of congenital diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease, abnormalities of the aorta or arteriovenous malformations, aneurysms are more common. There is also a family predisposition for the disease - if parents, in 20 percent of cases, have it then some of the children may develop it. Finally, in 15-20 percent of cases there is a possibility that the patient has two or more aneurysms.

What is the rupture of a brain aneurysm and its consequences?

The rupture of brain aneurysms involves shooting of blood vessels in the brain. This leads to bleeding in the area of ​​the meninges, sometimes up to hematoma or penetration of the blood in the chamber system. All this leads to damage of the brain. In 40 percent of cases aneurysm of the brain suddenly bursts and it may be the cause of death, and if patients survive, a new rupture in the next 15 days increases the mortality by up to 70 percent.

The most common risk factors for ruptured brain aneurysm is hypertension, smoking, age of the patient (ruptures are more common after 40 years), arteriosclerosis, the use of drugs such as aspirin or anticoagulant therapy, the use of cocaine, alcohol consumption, head injury, as well as low-dose estrogen after menopause. Aneurysm of the brain is more common in females, and after menopause. Family history of aneurysms is another risk. It should be noted that certain diseases, for example polycystic disease and AV malformation of the brain, sometimes is associated with aneurysms.

We need to distinguish between rupture of a brain aneurysm and stroke. If with the rupture bleeding occurs in the brain, this gives the clinical picture of sudden headaches, unlike the stroke, where symptoms of sudden, half body paralysis and loss of speech occur. However, after the rupture a stroke as a result can cause spasm of blood vessels. The classic cause of cerebral infarction is the closure of the blood vessel thrombus, most commonly dispersed from the heart during an arrhythmia, or stenosis of blood vessels and brain.

How to prevent brain haemorrhage?

The wall of the blood vessel in the area of ​​the aneurysm becomes thin and any increase in pressure in the brain, no matter what the cause, can lead to rupture of the aneurysm. The increase in pressure can cause coughing, sneezing, lifting, sex, everyday stress, infection, although there are no rules, because cerebral haemorrhage can occur during sleep. When a brain aneurysm ruptures, there is a sudden and very severe headache, severe nausea accompanied by vomiting, neck stiffness and the change of our awareness of different phases, from sleepiness up to coma.

How often does a brain aneurysm occurs?

Aneurysm rupture is experienced an average of 15 to 20 people out of 100,000. Not every aneurysm ruptures in the brain, it may happen that it never occurs but there are no rules. Sometimes its size may be a risk factor - it is most likely in the case of expansion in those ten millimetres in size (up to 40 percent of cases), while only three percent of aneurysms are smaller than five millimetres.

How to avoid the damage of brain aneurysm - prevention

Persons who have discovered an aneurysm of the brain should avoid exposure to high temperatures, lifting, smoking, must be moderate in the use of alcohol and caffeine, eat properly and control blood pressure. Patients who are at increased risk of rupture (family history, a certain size and location of the aneurysm, hypertension or some congenital diseases) are recommended to treat the disease with endovascular method. Each aneurysm in the head should be treated preventively, since there is a constant fear of possible rupture.
Brain aneurysm surgery; endovascular method

There are two possibilities for therapy that brain aneurysm is treated: traditional brain surgery that involves opening the skull and placing the clip in the neck of the aneurysm, and other endovascular methods. The latter represents a minimally invasive approach to repairing the aneurysm, whether it ruptured or not.

Endovascular intervention is implemented through an artery inguinal region with catheters and micro catheters, to access the area where the aneurysm is. Then, through their brain aneurysm is filled with specially designed coils and off from the circulation. Formerly used stents, which are placed in the neck of the aneurysm, alone or in combination with spirals for the purpose of its closure. The chances that there are any complications during the intervention, such as the bursting of the aneurysm, thrombosis of blood vessels and heart attack – are less than one percent.

The intervention takes on average 45 minutes, and recovery of the patient with a ruptured aneurysm takes up to ten days. In patients with unruptured aneurysms intervention is performed in the waking state, and they remain in the hospital an average of two days. They can return to normal activities after a week.

How endovascular approach reduces the risk of death?

People with a better mind state and with less bleeding in the brain after endovascular interventions have better chances of survival than comatose patients. Therefore, any patient following the rupture of the aneurysm should be treated with endovascular method, regardless of the time of occurrence of rupture, and thus give him or her a chance of survival.