Dr.Dre – what causes aneurysms and how they can be treated

Dr.Dre – what causes aneurysms and how they can be treated

A brain aneurysm brought the rapper Dr. Dre was in a life-threatening situation when it tore. What exactly a brain aneurysm is, how it can rupture and how you can prevent it.

With the rapper Dr. Dre was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm in 2021. It had ruptured and caused a cerebral hemorrhage. The 59-year-old reports that he had no idea about it before his hospital stay. It now emerged that shortly afterwards he had also suffered three strokes. The rapper said he suffered from high blood pressure. But what exactly is a brain aneurysm, why does it go unnoticed and why can it rupture? An overview:

What is a brain aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a sac or berry-shaped bulge in an artery. It occurs when the vessel wall is no longer firm and elastic at one point and bulges outwards. Aneurysms can form in various arteries, for example in the main artery in the abdomen. If the bulge is on an artery in the brain, it is called a brain aneurysm. Such aneurysms often form at branching points of the arteries through which the brain is supplied with blood.

How do I know if I have a brain aneurysm?

Many people don’t even realize they have a brain aneurysm. These are then asymptomatic aneurysms. About 3 out of 100 adults have a brain aneurysm. Some people also have multiple aneurysms in the brain at the same time, according to the Ministry of Health. However, if the aneurysm is in an unfavorable location or is particularly large, it can press on the brain or nerves, such as the optic nerve. This often leads to symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision or paralysis of the eye muscles.

Is a brain aneurysm dangerous?

An aneurysm only needs to be treated if it causes symptoms. Or there is an increased risk of an aneurysm rupture. If the aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening Cerebral hemorrhage come. It triggers a headache you’ve never experienced before – with nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and even fainting, the Munich Clinic informs. Around 20 percent of patients die from such bleeding in the first few hours. In rare cases, a brain aneurysm can also cause a stroke: A brain aneurysm can also cause a brain artery to become blocked if a blood clot forms in the aneurysm and travels to a smaller branch of the artery. The blocked artery can trigger a stroke.

What are risk factors for a brain aneurysm?

An aneurysm could be caused by congenital weaknesses in the artery wall. “Poorly controlled high blood pressure or smoking can promote the development of aneurysms,” explains Dr. Gernot Schulte-Altedorneburg, chief physician at the Institute for Neuroradiology and Radiology at the Munich Clinic Harlaching. Old age also promotes an aneurysm. High blood pressure, smoking and old age are also risk factors for an aneurysm to rupture.

How can you detect a brain aneurysm?

An aneurysm is often only discovered by chance because for many patients it does not cause any symptoms. And it only becomes noticeable when the head is examined. For frequent, severe headaches, for example, doctors can use imaging techniques to identify the causes. “Aneurysms can be visualized particularly well with digital subtraction angiography (DSA): an X-ray image is taken with and one without contrast agent. From this, the computer calculates an image in which only the blood vessels can be seen,” says the Federal Ministry of Health.

How is a brain aneurysm treated?

If the aneurysm does not cause any symptoms, it does not need to be treated. But doctors check it every one to three years. In this way, problems can be identified early. If those affected have symptoms, there are usually two common procedures: surgery or the use of a catheter. Both treatment methods stop blood flow to the aneurysm, preventing it from rupturing. However, the interventions are associated with risks.

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Source: Stern

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