Cerebral Aneurysm - Description

Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. For a variety of reasons, weak spots sometimes develop in the walls of an artery. When that happens, an aneurysm develops. An aneurysm in the brain is one of the most dangerous types.

The greatest danger of an aneurysm is rupture. A ruptured aneurysm in the brain allows blood to flow into the surrounding area. Blood may also flow into the area that surrounds brain tissue. This event is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH; pronounced sub-uh-RAK-noid hem-uh-RIJ).

About 1 percent of individuals with an aneurysm are at risk for a hemorrhage. Under age forty, more men tend to experience an SAH. After age forty, more women than men are affected. There are seldom any warning signs of an SAH. Most people who have a hemorrhage never knew they had an aneurysm. Based on autopsies (medical studies of dead bodies), 1 to 5 percent of the total population has had some type of cerebral aneurysm.

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