An aneurysm of the brain is a bulge or ballooning of one of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. The middle cerebral artery is most commonly affected, but it can affect any artery.
Usually, it is caused by the weakening of the arterial wall due to atherosclerosis, hypertension, or another medical condition.
There are two types of brain aneurysms: intracerebral and subarachnoid. Intracerebral aneurysms occur inside the skull, whereas subarachnoid aneurysms occur in the space between the skull and the dura mater, the membrane surrounding the brain.
There are four types of subarachnoid aneurysms based on their location: anterior communicating artery, internal carotid artery, posterior circulation, and vertebrobasilar system.
Aneurysm symptoms include sudden headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, vision changes, speech problems, and seizures.
Depending on its size, location, and type, brain aneurysms can be treated in different ways. Treatment options include observation, surgery, stenting, embolization, and endovascular coiling.
For patients with a ruptured brain aneurysm, surgery is generally recommended. The goal of treatment is to prevent further bleeding.
Stenting is used to treat aneurysms that are not ruptured. A stent is placed in the parent artery to block blood flow to the aneurysm.
Embolization involves blocking the aneurysm’s opening with coils or glue. This procedure is typically performed on small aneurysms.
An endovascular coiling procedure is used for treating large aneurysms. During aneurysm surgery, coils are used to block the blood flow.
People over 40 years of age should have their first brain aneurysm checked every five years, according to the American Stroke Association.