About 1.5 to 5 percent of the general population has or will develop a cerebral aneurysm. That's about 3 to 5 million people in the United States, but most don't show any symptoms. A small percentage may suffer from bleeding.
When this occurs in a blood vessel in the brain, it's called a brain aneurysm or a cerebral aneurysm. Most people with brain aneurysms have no symptoms. They may never find out they have a brain aneurysm, or it may be found by accident when their brain is scanned for some other reason.
Symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm usually begin with a sudden agonising headache. It's been likened to being hit on the head, resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before. Other symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm also tend to come on suddenly and may include: feeling or being sick.
Up to 6% of people living in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm. While still rare, they do happen to up to 30,000 Americans each year. Brain aneurysms occur in both males and females and at any age, but brain aneurysms are most common in female adults between ages 40 and 60.
An estimated 6.7 million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm or 1 in 50 people. The annual rate of rupture is approximately 8 – 10 per 100,000 people.
The median age
for brain aneurysms to occur is 50, and the age group most commonly afflicted by brain aneurysms is the 35 to 60 age range. Most brain aneurysms develop after age 40.
An unruptured brain aneurysm may cause zero symptoms. People can live with them for years before detection.
They usually don't cause symptoms or cause health problems. In many cases, brain aneurysms are found during tests for other conditions. However, a ruptured aneurysm quickly becomes life-threatening and requires medical treatment right away.
Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50% of cases. Of those who survive, about 66% suffer some permanent neurological deficit. Approximately 15% of people with a ruptured aneurysm die before reaching the hospital.
Can people live a long time with a brain aneurysm? Absolutely. Many aneurysms cause no symptoms at all. Some people live for years without knowing they have a brain aneurysm.
A brain aneurysm is usually diagnosed using angiography. Angiography is a type of X-ray used to check blood vessels. This involves inserting a needle, usually in the groin, through which a narrow tube called a catheter can be guided into one of your blood vessels.
Migraine headaches and brain aneurysms can sometimes share some symptoms. It's rare, but an aneurysm that is large or growing can push on nerves or tissue and cause migraine-like symptoms, including: Headaches. Pain above or behind the eyes.
Your risk of developing a brain aneurysm increases as you get older, with most cases diagnosed in people over the age of 40. This may be because the walls of the blood vessels are weakened over time by the constant pressure of blood flowing through them.
Aneurysms are often called a “silent killer,” as patients often have no symptoms until their aneurysm bursts. Almost 75 percent of all patients with a ruptured aneurysm die from the condition, which is why screening is crucial for people at highest risk.
Aneurysm visible on MRI scan missed
Sadly there are cases in which medical practitioners have assessed the images of an MRI scan, yet have failed to identify an aneurysm, and thus failed to follow-up and treat the patient.
On average, patients who underwent repair for a ruptured aneurysm lived 5.4 years after surgery. Researchers found no significant differences in relative five-year survival rates between men and women or between age groups. However, researchers found differences in the repair of intact aneurysms.
Strong emotions, such as being upset or angry, can raise blood pressure and can subsequently cause aneurysms to rupture.
Depending on the risk factor burden, the lifetime risk of an aneurysmal SAH varied from 0% to 100%, and the annual rupture rate from 0% to 6.5%. Of the 96 patients with small (<7 mm) UIAs, 24 (25%) had an aneurysmal SAH during the follow-up.
“Another is that an aneurysm can disappear or heal itself. This is very rare and only happens in aneurysms that are considered benign because the flow of blood is so slow it eventually forms a clot and seals off the bulge.”
Abdominal aortic aneurysms do not go away, so if you have a large one, you may need surgery. Surgery involves replacing the aneurysm with a man-made graft. Elective surgery, which is done before an aneurysm ruptures, has a success rate of more than 90 percent.
Causes of aneurysms
high blood pressure (hypertension) over many years resulting in damage and weakening of blood vessels. fatty plaques (atherosclerosis) resulting in a weakness of the blood vessel wall. inherited diseases that may result in weaker than normal blood vessel walls.
Whether you have had treatment such as clipping or coiling or doctors are managing your unruptured aneurysm without surgery, you can expect to continue most normal activities, unless your doctors advise you otherwise — and depending on circumstances, that can also include flying.
Although responsible for only 3%-5% of all cerebrovascular aneurysms, basilar artery aneurysms (BAAs) are among the most difficult to treat.