Cerebral Aneurysm Symptoms

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

A brain aneurysm seldom causes any noticeable symptoms until it ruptures. In some cases, however, a large aneurysm or one that is pressing against certain nerves or tissues may cause symptoms even though the aneurysm has not yet burst.

Symptoms of unruptured cerebral aneurysm

Some examples of symptoms in cases of cerebral aneurysm that has not ruptured include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty with eye movement
  • Paralysis of facial muscles, usually on one side of the face. This may cause difficulty with speech.
  • Pain on one side of the face
  • Headache
  • Seizures

Symptoms of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm

Once a cerebral aneurysm has burst, the consequences can be severe and life threatening. A ruptured cerebral aneurysm is also called subarachnoid haemorrhage and leads to severe intracranial bleeding that can cause several dangerous symptoms

.

Examples of these symptoms include:

  • Sudden, agonising pain in the head. This pain is often described as a “thunderclap headache,” due to the similarity to being sharply and suddenly knocked on the head
  • Neck stiffness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain on looking at light (photophobia)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

About 60% of people who suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage die within two weeks of the event. Of those who survive, about 50% will be severely brain damaged or disabled.

Reviewed by , BSc

Sources

  1. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/aneurysm/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  2. http://nspc.com/pdf/drbrisman-cerebralaneurysms.pdf
  3. http://www.bafound.org/sites/default/files/Introduction%20to%20Brain%20Aneurysms%20and%20Their%20Treatment.pdf
  4. http://www.uic.edu/depts/dhd/ilcapture/stroke/stroke/Aneurysm%20info.pdf?identifier=4457
  5. http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/MJM/issues/v09n01/rev_articles/Intracranial%20Aneurysm.pdf

Further Reading

Last Updated: Apr 2, 2014

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