A brain aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or ballooning in a weakened blood vessel in the brain. If the aneurysm grows to a certain size, it can burst, causing bleeding into the brain (called a subarachnoid hemorrhage).
A ruptured aneurysm requires immediate medical treatment, as it quickly becomes life-threatening. Treatment for an unruptured brain aneurysm may be appropriate in some cases and may prevent a rupture in the future.
Norton Neuroscience Institute offers the latest, most advanced treatments for aneurysms.
Brain Aneurysm Causes and Risk Factors
People are not born with brain aneurysms — they usually develop at some point in life.
Factors associated with increased risk for aneurysm formation or increased risk for bleeding from an aneurysm are:
- Family history of brain aneurysms
- High blood pressure
Brain Aneurysm Symptoms
The primary symptom of an aneurysm is sudden onset of what often is described as the worst headache of a person’s life. Other associated symptoms may include:
- Blurred or double vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
- Stiff neck
Types of Brain Aneurysms
Ruptured aneurysm: There is a hole in the aneurysm wall from an initial bleed. The goal is to fix the aneurysm so it can’t bleed again.
Unruptured aneurysm: If an aneurysm is thought to be at relatively high risk for hemorrhage in the future (aneurysms bigger than 6 to 7 millimeters in diameter, aneurysms in certain locations, aneurysms in smokers or in those with family history of aneurysms), it can be treated before it ruptures.
Brain Aneurysm Treatment at Norton Neuroscience Institute
The specialists at Norton Neuroscience Institute are leaders in the emerging field of endovascular neurosurgery, which allows the surgeon to treat many neurological conditions with minimally invasive technique.
Endovascular treatment often is the first treatment option for aneurysms. The procedure entails threading a small plastic catheter from the leg artery all the way into the arteries of the brain and into the aneurysm, using the following different types of techniques:
- Aneurysm clipping
- Aneurysm coiling
- Pipeline embolization surgery
In some cases, traditional surgery is recommended over endovascular techniques.