Aneurysm, Brain Health (cont.)

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Brain Aneurysm Treatment

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If you for or someone you know has a headache that is more intense than previously before, go to an emergency department or activate your emergency medical system (call 911, etc.)

Brain Aneurysm Self-Care at Home

There is no self-care for brain aneurysms at home. If a person develops with an intense headache that is different from previous headaches, he or she should seek medical care immediately.

Brain Aneurysm Medical Treatment

The first step in the treatment of a brain aneurysm is to find the aneurysm. Once it is identified, neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists will evaluate the patient and -- based upon the location of the aneurysm in the brain -- decide how best to stop the bleeding.

The major options that exist include:

  • Neurosurgery: During surgery, the skull is opened and the aneurysm is identified. Then, a clip is placed across the base of the aneurysm to prevent further bleeding.
  • Endovascular Coiling: Using X-rays and fluoroscopy, a catheter is threaded through the brain's arteries to the base of the aneurysm. Platinum coils are inserted into the aneurysm, causing it to clot and preventing further bleeding.

There are risks and benefits to each procedure that have to be individualized for each patient and their situation; as treatment methods advance, other options may become available.

Brain Aneurysm Medications

  • Nimodipine: This a calcium channel blocker that is used to stabilize blood vessels and prevent cerebrovasospasm (cerebro=brain +vaso=blood vessel +spasm), which can shut off the blood supply to areas of the brain that have been affected by the aneurysm.
  • Antiseizure medications: These medications are often given because blood can irritate the brain and may cause seizures.
  • Blood pressure medications: These medications may be used to prevent high blood pressure that may occur after surgery.
  • Pain medication and antinausea medications: These medications may be administered to make a patient more comfortable.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/27/2014

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