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Severe headaches may be sign of brain aneurysm

Severe headaches may be sign of brain aneurysm

Don’t dismiss severe headaches for they might be warning of a more serious disorder as this is one of the symptoms of brain aneurysm.

Other symptoms are nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and loss of consciousness.

"A rupture is usually the first manifestation of brain aneurysm. The classical description of the rupture is like you are experiencing the worst headache in your life. So if you have a headache that you haven’t experienced before, you better consult a doctor. Sometimes, when people have ruptured aneurysms, they go into coma," said Dr. Carlos Francis Santiago, an endovascular neurosurgeon at the Makati Medical Center (MMC).

An aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery. Common locations for aneurysms are the aorta (major artery from the heart), brain, leg, intestine, and splenic artery. Brain aneurysms can be fatal, while aortic aneurysms are so common that they can be fatal, too.

"You can have aneurysm at any age, but persons aged 40 and above, are more vulnerable to having a rupture due to age accumulated blood vessel that may form cholesterol deposits in the arteries and high blood pressure. You can have it from birth. I had a patient that has been diagnosed with aneurysm at one year old, but those are rare instances. Most likely, these patients have some other problems like genetic or connective tissue diseases," Santiago said.

Some of the major dangers of having brain aneurysm is having a stroke, disability, and even death. If an aneurysm breaks open and bleeds into the brain, a stroke occurs and death may follow. The bleeding is called subarachnoid hemorrhage. About 50 percent of people with ruptures will eventually die. Those who are lucky enough to reach the hospital need good treatment in order for them to have a good chance to pull through.

There are two modes of treatment: Neurosurgical clipping, which involves a craniotomy or affixing a titanium clip around an aneurysm’s neck, while the other option is the minimally invasive endovascular coiling where a catheter is inserted through the groin and navigated to the aneurysm in the cerebral arteries. Platinum coils are then used to block them. These procedures would prevent bleeding of the aneurysm.

Patients with ruptured aneurysyms should be evaluated and treated in hospitals that provide both neurosurgery and neuroendovascular treatment.

The patient needs to be brought to the nearest good hospital first, then evaluated if the patient can be transferred to a tertiary center like MMC because some patients are too unstable to be transferred. A team of experienced neurosurgeons and intervention neuroradiologists weighs the advantages and disadvantages of clipping or coiling for every patient.

"Because prevention is much easier than cure, we recommend those people who are at high risk of having aneurysms like people with second-degree relatives diagnosed to have an aneurysm to consult their doctors and have their aneurysms checked before they rupture. To prevent it from rupturing, one must avoid smoking. If you are hypersensitive, you must treat your hypertension because it is high blood pressure that makes aneurysm rupture. Eating the right food also plays an important role in controlling the rupture. Too much stress may also lead to the attack," Santiago said.


duh! malamang agamang! saan pa ba sasakit? sa balls? common sense isn't too common nowadays, isn't it? me testicular aneurysm kaya ko? masakit balls ko eh.. sobra lang siguro sa nursing sex..

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