You may not notice any signs or symptoms of a brain aneurysm until it becomes large enough to press on a nerve or it leaks or ruptures. That means you may not know you have one unless it’s found on a scan or test, such as an angiogram or MRA.
Just before a tear (or rupture) occurs, you may experience a severe headache (usually the worst headache you ever experienced), along with weakness, loss of consciousness or numbness. You may also have trouble seeing or speaking.
If the aneurysm is pressing on a nerve, you may experience:
Diagnosing a brain aneurysm will begin with your doctor giving you a physical exam and discussing your symptoms. Then, you’ll likely have an imaging test such as an MRI or a CT scan that may show evidence of a bulge or bleeding. Your doctor may also recommend a spinal fluid test.
If you have a test or scan that shows an unruptured brain aneurysm, there are typically two options:
When deciding your treatment, you and your neuroscience care team will consider the aneurysm’s size and shape, as well as where it is in your brain, how old you are and your family history.
To repair a brain aneurysm, your team will often take one of these approaches:
You and your team of specialist can discuss the best treatment option based on your individual needs.