A brain aneurysm, also known as a cerebral or intracranial aneurysm, is a point of weakness of an artery in the brain. It is like a balloon on an artery. Since the artery wall is weaker at the point of aneurysm, there is a risk of rupture. A ruptured aneurysm can lead to subarachnoid hemorrhage…
Cerebral hemorrhage affects more than 200,000 people in the United States each year. If a cerebral hemorrhage occurs (or if the symptoms of a cerebral hemorrhage are present), then it is important to visit a medical professional at the soonest possible time; early treatment intervention can help reduce the risk of long-term complications or death. This review provides a detailed overview of cerebral hemorrhage, including what it is, who is at risk, what the symptoms are, and what treatment options are available.
What is cerebral hemorrhage?
Cerebral hemorrhage occurs when there is uncontrolled bleeding in the brain; this often occurs when blood vessels in the brain burst. When this occurs, blood can get into the brain tissue and cause inflammation. Blood can also become trapped between the brain and the surrounding membrane, which also puts excess pressure upon the brain. Both concerns can lead to brain damage.
Cerebral hemorrhage is typically caused by sudden head trauma or weakened blood vessels near the brain. Due to the potential result of cerebral hemorrhage, it is imperative to seek immediate care if symptoms develop. Many people have few long-term symptoms of cerebral hemorrhage and make a speedy recovery, but more severe cases can damage the brain long-term.
What are the risk factors of cerebral hemorrhage?
There is no way to predict or entirely prevent a cerebral hemorrhage, but there are known risk factors that increase the risk. The most notable risk factors include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Sudden or repeated trauma to the head
- Amyloid angiopathy
- Cerebral aneurysms
- Arteriovenous malformations
It is encouraged to discuss risk factors with a neuroscientist to determine the overall risk of a cerebral hemorrhage and to take action (if necessary) to reduce your risk.
What are the symptoms of cerebral hemorrhage?
Symptoms of cerebral hemorrhage develop relatively quickly after the blood vessel bursts. The symptoms for each person vary and are dependent upon the area of the brain that is affected and the severity of the cerebral hemorrhage. The most commonly reported symptoms include:
- Unresponsiveness or passing out
- Impaired ability to perform normal functions (i.e. talking, listening, writing)
- Difficulty or inability to swallow
- Body weakness
- Change in vision or a loss of vision
- Severe headaches
The symptoms can vary based upon the severity of the cerebral hemorrhage, but all cases are considered severe and possibly life-threatening. It is important to seek immediate medical care if the symptoms of cerebral hemorrhage appear suddenly.
How can I reduce the risk of cerebral hemorrhage?
The good news is there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of a cerebral hemorrhage. The prevention method varies for every person, but in general, you can reduce your overall risk of cerebral hemorrhage by:
- Controlling your blood pressure
- Implementing a regular exercise plan
- Eating a healthy diet
- Managing your weight
- Avoid smoking or other forms of tobacco use
- Limit alcohol consumption to a healthy level
- Reduce your risk of trauma (e.g., falling)
Since many instances of cerebral hemorrhage are caused by a sudden and unexpected blow to the head, they are not always preventable. However, there are ways to reduce your risk of trauma. For example, you should use seatbelts while driving or riding in a car and wear a helmet during dangerous activities, such as while working on a construction site.
The best way to reduce your risk of cerebral hemorrhage that is caused by weakened blood vessels is to work on your overall health by monitoring your blood pressure. This should include stress reduction, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and limiting the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
How is cerebral hemorrhage treated?
Treatment for a cerebral hemorrhage can be divided into two types: the initial treatment and the recovery process. Initial treatments may include anticonvulsants (for seizure control), surgery to relieve pressure or drain blood clots, and pain medications. Treatment is not over once the bleeding stops and the swelling resides. The recovery process may involve physical therapy to help regain strength, occupational therapy to regain the ability to perform daily functions, an exercise regimen, and dietary counseling.
Schedule a visit with our neuroscience team
If you or a loved one has experienced cerebral hemorrhage and needs to schedule a visit with a neurologist, then contact our office today. Our neuroscience team understands how to assist with the recovery from cerebral hemorrhage to provide the patient with the best chance of a full and fast recovery. So why wait? Call us today to get started.
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