Brain aneurysms are not usually hereditary. If you aren’t already familiar, a brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel in the brain as a result of weakened vessel walls. The majority of them never rupture or cause any significant health problems. But when they do rupture they are life-threatening. A sudden, extreme headache is the most common symptom of a ruptured aneurysm, but patients may also experience a mixture of the following:
- Stiff Neck
- Blurred Vision
- Sensitivity to Light
- Drooping Eyelid
- Loss of Consciousness
- Sudden Confusion
If you witness someone experiencing these symptoms, it is imperative that you contact emergency medical services as soon as possible.
Are Brain Aneurysms Hereditary?
The vast majority of brain aneurysms don’t appear to have any hereditary connections. However, there are rare circumstances where aneurysms appear to be more likely in certain families. These cases are known as familial aneurysms, and they refer specifically to families that have at least two cases among them.
The cause for what appears to be hereditary linkage is not well understood. The data shows that the two cases are more likely to occur within a small family unit. For example, when one case appears it’s most likely that the second will occur amongst the initial patient’s siblings or parents. The data also shows that women appear to be slightly more susceptible, but so are relatives who have a history of smoking or high blood pressure.
Given that we still have much to learn, the best thing you can do is be prepared. If someone in your family develops a brain aneurysm that is discovered through testing or as a result of a rupture, then you may need to be screened for brain aneurysms.
Talking to Your Neurosurgeon about Screening
The first thing you need to understand is that brain aneurysms are very rare. Before you go to visit Dr. Yashar to discuss brain aneurysms in LA, you need to gather as much information as you can. If you’re able, get permission from your relative to share their medical history with your doctor. This information will help your doctor determine what factors could have contributed to your relative’s aneurysm. It may be that there’s a perfectly good, medical explanation, and you may not need screening.
However, if you and your doctor are still concerned, you may choose to move forward with the screening process. Screening for a non-ruptured brain aneurysm usually involves an MRI and an angiography. These tests will allow your neurosurgeon to have a complete view of the blood vessels in your brain. Most of the time, everything will be 100% normal. However, if your doctor does see something that concerns them, you may need additional testing to confirm.
What If They Find Something?
If you’re one of the rare families that seems to have some hereditary predisposition for brain aneurysms, then your doctor will discuss your options with you once the aneurysm has been confirmed. In some cases, smaller aneurysms are left alone because the chance of rupture is so small that it’s less risky to leave it than to treat it. However, if your doctor feels treatment is required, they will give you their professional opinion on the best way to cut off blood flow to the section of the weakened vessel.
Moving Forward with Treatment
For patients who require surgical treatment, you’ll want the best neurosurgeon available. Fortunately, Dr. Yashar’s spine surgery is located right here in the Los Angeles area. As the area’s premiere neurosurgeon specializing in brain and spinal surgeries, you can trust that Dr. Yashar will help you find the best solution for you and your family.