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Articles » NINDS Cerebral Aneurysm Information Page: NINDS
 

NINDS Cerebral Aneurysm Information Page: NINDS

Article title: NINDS Cerebral Aneurysm Information Page: NINDS

Conditions: Cerebral Aneurysm


What is Cerebral Aneurysm?
Cerebral aneurysm is a common cerebrovascular disorder caused by a weakness in the wall of a cerebral artery or vein. The disorder may result from congenital defects or from preexisting conditions such as hypertensive vascular disease and atherosclerosis (build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries), or from head trauma. Cerebral aneurysms occur more commonly in adults than in children and are slightly more common in women than in men, however they may occur at any age. Before an aneurysm ruptures, the individual may experience such symptoms as a sudden and usually severe headache, nausea, vision impairment, vomiting, and loss of consciousness, or the individual may be asymptomatic, experiencing no symptoms at all. Onset is usually sudden and without warning. Rupture of a cerebral aneurysm is dangerous and usually results in bleeding in the brain or in the area surrounding the brain, leading to an intracranial hematoma (a mass of blood—usually clotted—within the skull). Rebleeding, hydrocephalus (the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid), vasospasm (spasm of the blood vessels), or multiple aneurysms may also occur.

Is there any treatment?
Emergency treatment for individuals with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm generally includes restoring deteriorating respiration and reducing intracranial pressure. Surgery is usually performed within the first 3 days to clip the ruptured aneurysm and to reduce the risk of rebleeding. In patients for whom surgery is considered too risky, microcoil thrombosis or balloon embolization may be performed. Other treatments may include bed rest, drug therapy, or hypertensive-hypervolemic therapy (hypervolemic hemodilution) to control vasospasm. NEWS UPDATE: For the latest treatment information on unruptured cerebral aneurysms, see the attached news release.

What is the prognosis?
The prognosis for a patient with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm depends on the extent and location of the aneurysm, the person's age, general health, and neurological condition. Some individuals with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm die from the initial bleeding. Other individuals with cerebral aneurysm recover with little or no neurological deficit. Early diagnosis and treatment are important.

What research is being done?
The NINDS supports a broad range of basic and clinical research aimed at finding better ways to prevent and treat disorders such as cerebral aneurysms.

 Organizations

Brain Aneurysm Foundation
295 Cambridge Street
Old Forge Realty Bldg.
Boston, MA 02114
https://neurosurgery.mgh.harvard.edu/baf
Tel: 617-723-3870
Fax: 617-723-8672

This fact sheet is in the public domain. You may copy it.Provided by:
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892


 

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