Sudden Headache Followed by Unconsciousness is a Warning Sign of ‘Cerebral Aneurysm’ | Wockhardt Hospitals

Sudden Headache Followed by Unconsciousness is a Warning Sign of ‘Cerebral Aneurysm’

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Chinese President Xi Jinping may be suffering from a ‘cerebral aneurysm’ and had reportedly sought treatment a few months ago. While no official confirmation has come in, reports have been speculating about his health for quite some time now. According to reports, the Chinese premier had been hospitalized towards the end of 2021. He had however opted out of surgery, preferring to be treated with traditional Chinese medicines that would soften the blood vessels and shrink an aneurysm.

Previously, ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Emilia Clarke had opened up about the life-threatening condition during her time on the show, sharing with The New Yorker in 2019 that she had to undergo multiple surgeries and endure a long recovery period because of it.

What is a Cerebral Aneurysm?

Dr. Prashant Makhija, Consultant neurologist, Wockhardt hospital, Mumbai, explained that a cerebral aneurysm is a ballooning arising from a weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. “The out pounding in the wall of the blood vessel is prone to ruptures which will result in internal bleeding. This blood can leak into the brain, threatening the life of the patient.”

Thunder-Clap Headache, the Most Common Warning Sign

Dr. Makhija said there are a number of symptoms. “Sudden outbreak of unbearable headache, which we term as ‘thunderclap’ headache is the most common symptom.” The risk may increase if, after such a thunder-clap headache, the patient loses consciousness. “We immediately advise screening if losing consciousness after sudden headaches have been observed,” he added.

He further said conversion disorders like seizures also play role in the cerebral aneurysm.

“These ruptures can be genetic as well. If a patient has developed the condition genetically then it is even harder to find out. These cases are usually asymptomatic,” he said.

What Danger Does It Pose?

“Rupturing brain aneurysm is life-threatening and can lead to death. It may also cause stroke as, during the ruptures, spasm of blood vessels has also been observed,” Dr. Makhija elaborated.

He also said that the aneurysm can damage the brain and increase brain pressure.

Treatment Depends on Individual Needs, Location, and Size of the Aneurysm

According to the medical literature, if the size of the balloon-like structure is over 7mm, then the risk of ruptures will be higher, he informed. “There are two ways to treat the condition.” First is open surgery where a cut has to be made to the scalp bone that exposes the brain tissue. That is why it is also called open brain surgery. And second, microsurgical clipping is a technique that blocks the blood supply to an aneurysm using a metal clip.

Dr. Makhija also said that the treatment option depends highly on the location and size of the aneurysm and whether or not it has ruptured, as well as the individual patient’s needs. “Medications are also given to people, in case of spasm, to control the brain pressure, electrolyte imbalance, etc,” he said.

He added, “Patients who are asymptomatic and have discovered the condition incidentally are observed on whether there is a periodic increase in the size of the structures.”

Dr. Prashant Makhija
Consultant Neurologist
Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai

To book an appointment call: +918291101001


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