A cerebral aneurysm is a protrusion in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. Such changes in the vessels have a disease value. Basically, cerebral aneurysms belong to the so-called cerebral angiodysplasias. Cavernomas and angiomas also belong to this category. In numerous cases, the cerebral aneurysm occurs in areas where the main arteries in the brain branch.
What is a cerebral aneurysm?
In principle, aneurysms are bulges in vessels. They primarily occur in places where blood vessels divide. Depending on the shape of the aneurysm, a distinction is made between different types. There are saccular aneurysms as well as irregularly shaped aneurysms. Aneurysms also differ significantly in terms of their size. The expansion varies from a few millimeters to aneurysms in the centimeter range. For meanings of periosteum inflammation, please visit polyhobbies.com.
If the aneurysm is larger than two centimeters, it is called a giant aneurysm. The rupture of cerebral aneurysms is particularly dangerous. Such ruptures occur with a probability of approximately 10:100,000 cases per year. It turns out that female patients suffer a rupture more often than men. Aneurysms are divided into a neck and a sac area.
A rupture occurs in the majority of cases at the thinnest point within the sac. In many people, the rupture does not have any prior signs, so it is usually sudden and expected. Sometimes, however, the rupture is favored by physical exertion or straining. Saccular aneurysms are common at the base of the brain. This is where the four most important arteries of the brain connect in a circular fashion.
The development of a cerebral aneurysm is usually favored by various factors. On the one hand, disturbances or damage to the walls of the blood vessels are a possible cause. There are also some genetic predispositions for the formation of aneurysms in the brain.
In addition, some factors facilitate the development of cerebral aneurysms. These include, for example, a weakness in the connective tissue, certain malformations in the arteriovenous area and diseases of the kidneys. Another crucial risk factor for the development of cerebral aneurysms is high blood pressure ( hypertension, the medical term).
Smokers are also more at risk than non-smokers. Special mechanical forces are at work in the area where blood vessels divide in the brain. These are believed to be involved in the formation of aneurysms. This explains why numerous cerebral aneurysms develop at branching points of vessels.
The so-called tunica media is often thinned. In the majority of cases, cerebral aneurysms form over the course of life. The smaller proportion of aneurysms are congenital or inherited.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The possible symptoms of cerebral aneurysms vary. In many cases, however, an aneurysm does not cause any symptoms for a long time and therefore remains undetected. In many cases, cerebral aneurysms are found and diagnosed incidentally during other medical examinations.
This is often possible, for example, in connection with MRI or computed tomography examinations. Additional symptoms may also occur. These are strongly related to where the cerebral aneurysm is located and how large it is. Vascular protrusions that are particularly extensive take up a certain amount of space in the brain, so that other tissue is displaced.
Associated with this, for example, neurological disorders such as failures of cerebral nerves are possible. Some patients also experience seizures. In particularly severe cases, the cerebral aneurysm leads to compression of the brainstem. If a cerebral aneurysm ruptures, a so-called subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs, which poses an acute threat to the patient’s life. The accompanying symptoms of the bleeding are similar to those of a stroke.
Diagnosis & course of disease
In principle, cerebral aneurysms can be diagnosed using imaging examination methods. Here, for example, a CT or an MRI examination come into question. Angiography also delivers particularly precise results. Since cerebral aneurysms remain symptom-free in numerous cases, they are usually not discovered or only discovered by chance.
The greatest danger with a cerebral aneurysm is that the dilated blood vessel will rupture, causing what is known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage in the brain. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. This is a hemorrhagic stroke that is fatal in 50 percent of cases.
A third of the patients die on the way to the hospital and another third cannot be saved despite treatment in the hospital or retain neurological damage. Those affected are often permanently mentally retarded after surviving a subarachnoid hemorrhage. However, about a third of patients have good to very good chances of recovery.
The cerebral aneurysm is often an incidental finding because there are usually no symptoms. Sometimes, however, the findings are only made when the cerebral hemorrhage has already occurred. The bleeding is manifested by sudden, severe, devastating headaches, drop in blood pressure, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness. Depending on the extent of the cerebral hemorrhage, death can sometimes occur suddenly from what appears to be full health.
Even after immediate drug or surgical therapy, further complications are possible, such as secondary bleeding, vasospasms with the risk of ischemic strokes, liquor outflow disorders due to blockage of the liquor ducts, cerebral edema or cerebral seizures. Since the surgical removal of cerebral aneurysms is also associated with risks, surgery is only recommended if the size is over seven millimeters.
When should you go to the doctor?
If there is a sudden increase in blood pressure, there is immediate cause for concern. A doctor must be consulted or an emergency service must be alerted in acute cases. If the state of health of the person concerned deteriorates to an immense extent within a short period of time, they urgently need medical help. In the case of seizures, signs of paralysis and a rapid drop in physical performance, a doctor’s visit is necessary. Disturbances of the functional activity are warning signals of the organism. You should be seen by a doctor so that a diagnosis can be made and a treatment plan can be drawn up.
A medical examination is indicated in the event of irregular breathing, vomiting, nausea or dizziness. Since a cerebral aneurysm can be fatal if left untreated, a doctor should be consulted immediately if you are acutely unwell or have a strong feeling of illness. Headaches, unsteady gait, discoloration of the skin or memory disorders are the first signs of health problems. You should be examined and treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
A feeling of pressure inside the head, circulatory disorders and a weakening of the connective tissue are warning signs of the organism. To avoid complications and consequential disorders, the symptoms should be examined by a doctor. There is also a need for action if there is a tingling sensation in the organism or other sensory disorders on the skin.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of cerebral aneurysms depends primarily on the individual case and, above all, on the location and extent of the aneurysm. The shape of the vascular bulge also plays a role in the choice of therapeutic methods. For example, if the aneurysm is less than seven millimeters in size and is located in the anterior sphere of circulation, no treatment is usually required.
This is especially true if the affected patient has not had a subarachnoid hemorrhage in the past. Treatment should be considered for cerebral aneurysms larger than seven millimeters. The age of the patient, his state of health and neurological factors are weighed up in order to keep the risk of complications as low as possible.
As long as the cerebral aneurysms do not cause any symptoms, possible therapeutic interventions should be carefully considered. The cerebral aneurysm is surgically cut off from the blood flow by a clip.
Although numerous cerebral aneurysms are acquired, prevention is difficult. Avoid risk factors such as smoking.
The rehabilitation phase follows the actual treatment of the cerebral aneurysm. This is a neurological rehabilitation therapy. How much time this follow-up treatment takes depends on the extent of the disease. In the case of patients who are severely affected by the aneurysm in particular, it is important to start the rehabilitation phase as early as possible.
In the transition phase, however, neurosurgical care of the patient often has to take place. It is not uncommon for there to be close cooperation with different neurological specialist hospitals. Once the rehabilitation phase is complete, further follow-up care is considered sensible. Among other things, check-ups by angiography take place as part of this.
The first examination is carried out after one to six months. The next control takes place one year after the first examination, another after three years. If the angiography shows abnormalities that do not need to be treated immediately, an annual check-up is recommended. If a surgical closure has been performed, the time frame is similar.
In addition to an imaging follow-up, the aftercare of a cerebral aneurysm also includes advising the patient about their everyday routine. Their relatives can also get information from the doctor.
Due to modern therapy methods, the follow-up treatment rate for a cerebral aneurysm could be significantly reduced. In addition to a high-resolution vascular display, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also one of the most important check-up procedures.
You can do that yourself
In most cases, those affected with this disease can no longer cope with everyday life themselves and in many cases are dependent on the help and support of carers. The help from one’s own family in particular has a very positive effect on the further course of the disease. Psychological help is also necessary to prevent depression and other mental disorders.
With the various types of paralysis, patients are often dependent on physiotherapy or physiotherapy measures. Some of the exercises from these therapies can also be repeated at home so that the symptoms continue to be alleviated. Cold hands and feet should be avoided as far as possible, whereby the blood circulation should be increased.
Many of those affected also show reduced alertness with this disease and need special support in everyday life. This support cannot be generated solely by one’s own family; professional support is often very important so that the relatives do not suffer psychological damage. Since the risk of falling is significantly increased with this disease, the living situation must be adjusted accordingly.