understand the brain aneurysm, diagnosed in the ex-BBB and other famous

The singer Juliette released this week the song “Solar”, which she composed in honor of her younger sister Julienne, who died at age 17 as a result of a stroke caused by a brain aneurysm – the same condition diagnosed in the winner of the ” BBB21″ in August last year, when performing routine exams.

“When I came out (from the exam), the doctor had already assembled a team of neurologists and said: ‘You have an aneurysm in exactly the same place your sister had it,’” said the former BBB in an interview with the program “Conversa com Bial” in March.

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The same diagnosis has already affected other stars, such as actresses Sharon Stone, who revealed that it took 7 years to recover from a brain aneurysm she suffered in 2001, at age 43, and Emilia Clarke, who identified two aneurysms at the end of the recordings of the first season of the series “Game of thrones”.

— The arteries inside the skull usually make many curvatures, and may have some irregularities in their walls that are not aneurysms, but that the exams interpret as if they were — explains vascular neurosurgeon Bruno Parente, from the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery (SBN).

Learn what a brain aneurysm is, its main symptoms, causes and treatment options:

What is brain aneurysm

It is estimated that 2% of the world population has some type of aneurysm, which is an abnormal dilation of an artery in the body that forms a kind of blood balloon, which can grow in size and become increasingly fragile until it ruptures. When this anomaly happens in the brain, the rupture can cause a stroke and, in more severe cases, a brain hemorrhage.

Most cases are asymptomatic, with the dilation being able to stay for years in the person’s brain without them knowing. Symptoms usually only appear at the time the aneurysm ruptures. In this case, the main signs are very severe headaches associated with neck stiffness, nausea, vomiting and an oscillation in the level of consciousness.

Parente points out that diagnoses have been identified at an increasingly early stage, and the risk of rupture is what determines the severity of the aneurysm. Those that are larger in size, greater than 8 millimeters, irregular in shape and located in thinner arteries have a higher risk of rupture. Those that are regular, smaller than 5 millimeters and in thicker arteries have a lower risk.

— The higher the risk, the greater the chance that the neurosurgeon will recommend a treatment. In mild cases, only follow-up may be indicated — says the neurosurgeon.

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forms of treatment

In the event of a rupture, the patient should be taken to the hospital as soon as possible so that the aneurysm can be closed. The most used treatment is called embolization, in which a catheter (a kind of tube) is introduced through the patient’s groin and reaches the aneurysm, where it manages to close it. In the other method, surgical, the aneurysm is exposed so that a clip is placed at its beginning, which prevents the reception of blood.

— When treatment is given to an aneurysm that is discovered early, before the rupture, the chances of success exceed 95%, and the risk associated with surgery varies from 0.5% to 1.5%, a low risk. When the aneurysm is diagnosed after the rupture, the success rate is reduced to less than 50%, and the risks are much higher – says Parente.

The ideal, explains the specialist, is to be aware of the risk factors that can lead to the development of the problem and, if applicable, that the person maintains a medical follow-up.

Causes of aneurysm

According to Parente, there may be a genetic tendency in certain people for the arteries to be more resistant or more fragile, but in most cases what determines the wear and tear of the vessels that form the aneurysm are lifestyle habits and other problems. of health.

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The most relevant are high blood pressure, increased blood cholesterol (because it attacks the walls of the vessel), diabetes and the habit of smoking. Some diseases can also contribute to vessel fragility, such as renal or rheumatologic ones.

In addition, age is the main factor along with habits, with the diagnosis being more common between 40 and 55 years old, reinforces the neurosurgeon.

Therefore, Parente points out that people who are over 40 years old and one of the risk factors, and experience a strong atypical headache, or any sign of neurological dysfunction, should immediately seek a neurologist.

He reinforces, however, that the treatment has good results when the diagnosis is early and, even in cases of rupture, it is increasingly efficient.

— In the last 15 years, it has perhaps been one of the areas of medicine that has advanced the most. These high success rates of treatments are thanks to these advances, which should continue in the coming years – says the expert.

how to prevent

As a form of prevention, the main recommendation of specialists is that those who suffer from hypertension have their blood pressure controlled; that the habit of smoking is avoided; that physical exercises are practiced routinely and that blood glucose and cholesterol levels are monitored.

In addition, people with two or more first-degree relatives who have or have had an aneurysm should start seeing a neurologist starting at age 16 to monitor the possible emergence of the problem.

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