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Weak artery

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I'm very worried about hearing of these two women that fell down dead from brain aneurism I here that you can be born with weak arteries how would I know of I was ? Or is that a certain disorder that causes weak arteries thanks

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 21 Doctors Online

Thank you for consulting with Doctor spring. I understand that you want to know more about Brain aneurysms. We hope the information presented is useful to you.

The brain is supplied by arteries, veins and nerves similar to any other organ in the body. The arteries arise from the internal carotid artery and the vertebral arteries. All the arteries supplying the brain are end arteries meaning that there is very little overlap between the areas supplied by each artery hence if there is damage to a particular artery; the area of the brain supplied by that vessel dies due to lack of oxygen and essential nutrients. The arteries of the brain are arranged in a circle called the Circle of Willis.

The arteries of the Circle of Willis are most commonly affected by aneurysm. Aneurysms form in an artery due to weakness in the muscle layer of the artery leading it balloon out on the weak side. There are various causes for aneurysm: Trauma, Heredity, Elevated blood pressure, Infections, drug abuse and atherosclerosis. Brain aneurysms are quite common and are found at autopsy but may not have any clinical presentation. So, even if an accidental finding of an aneurysm is made, there are particular dimensions beyond which they need to be treated.

Sometimes, if the aneurysm enlarges in size and causes pressure on the nearby areas of the brain, it may present with: headache, blurring of vision and other neurological symptoms depending on its location. Rupture of an aneurysm often occurs during exertion. This can lead to stroke or even death due to bleeding into the coverings of the brain.

Brain aneurysms can be diagnosed with CT in case of a ruptured aneurysm, MR angiography and LP to detect if there is blood in the CSF due to rupture of the aneurysm. In 2005, Teasdale et al conducted a study that showed that risk of having a ruptured berry aneurysm is high in individuals with one first degree relative and may need screening if two first degree family members have a ruptured aneurysm.

Treatment options available for symptomatic aneurysm are two surgical procedures called coiling and clipping.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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