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Aneursyms
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Aneursyms

Last week my dad passed away following the rupture of an aneursym. It was believed to be a large hemmorhagic stroke at first according to the CT scan but once the Neurosurgeons operated it was discovered to have been a giant aneursym.
They told us the bleed was so massive that daddy's brainstem had been pushed to one side from blood,swelling and pressure. We understood his prognosis was very,very poor but appreciated all that the Neurosurgeons did in order to try and help him.
I am unsure of the exact location of his aneursym. I understood the doctors telling us it was in the absolute worst possible location and it was his internal carotid artery and it was in the temporal region??? Not exactly clear on that but I am definately positive about the carotid artery.
He was ok Saturday evening and the following morning I arrived at their house once my mom called to find him on the floor already in a deep coma. He did not drink. He was under a tremendous amount of stress though due to his occupation. He did not have hypertension. He took alot of Ibuprofin for aches and pains. He was a heavy smoker. Atleast 2 packs per day.
What are aneursyms and what causes them?? Are they inherited and is there a risk that my sister and I will develop them? I don't understand what this means. We both have been diagnosed with migraine and have had normal MRI scans.
Should we both be screened or let it go? We both smoke but are seeing our doctors soon to get something so we can stop smoking as we understand that smoking does increase the risk of rupture.
Can we prevent them from forming? Was he born with it or do things like this unfortunately just happen???
Also, on his cat scan there were areas in his brain that appeared metastatic in nature but we didn't have an autopsy to rule out another disease process. Daddy was quite tall. 6'2 and very,very thin. Most men on his side of the family are and most of us are tall and thin.
I know I am rambling. I am sorry, I guess I am just looking for answeres and still grieving for my dad. Thank you for any information you can provide.
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Dear Tiffini:

Sorry to hear about your father's death.  There are different types of aneurysms, saccular, mycotic, arteriosclerotic, traumatic, neoplastic, and dissecting.  As can be inferred from the types, some are due to things we do to our bodies such as arteriosclerotic or traumatic.  Some happen because of infection or cancer and some by pure bad-luck.  There are a small segment of the population who have inherited forms (this is uncommon).  Most aneurysms happen in the branch points of the arteries of the head, where the weakest structural aspects of the arteries lie.  The normal MRI scan helps but does not for sure rule out an aneurysm (one needs and MRA to better assess and an angiogram to fully feel confident of the diagnosis).  There are some conditions that predispose people to intracranial aneurysms, such as polycystic kidneys, fibromuscular dysplasia and aortic stenosis.  In addition, hypertension is also a risk factor.  

Bottom line, is that most of the preventable things one can control for, such as hypertension, high lipids and some things one has little control over such as trauma.  All we can do is try to control what we can control.  If you have unexplained changes in your migraines or other focal neurological problems then I would recommend seeing your neurologist.

I hope I helped alittle.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
6 Comments
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Tiffini,
I am so sorry about your Father.  I just wanted to let you know that the fear will subside as time passes.  My husband and I had a close friend die of a massive brain aneurysm at our wedding ceremony, in fact it was 8 years ago today.  It is devastating and terrifying all at the same time.  I didn't sleep for a week after the incident and everytime I got a headache I thought this is it.  Please accept my sympathy and I will pray for you and your family.
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Avatar_n_tn
I, too, would like to express my sympathy. I lost my father last August to a very sudden hemmorhagic stroke. He was rushed to the ER with complaints of numbness and tingling - as well as racing heart and high bp...but the doctors didnt think it was anything serious as his symptoms subsided and sent him home. The next evening he stumbled and started slurring his words. At the ER this time we were told it was a massive bleed and there was nothing they could do - he died 5 days later. Up until that day he was healthy, active, and even planning to leave for a lifelong dream vacation to Ireland and Scotland the Saturday after the stroke. It's a horrible feeling the grief - and every time I feel the slightest tingle or numbness I panic now, despite the fact that I have c spine problems which compress the spinal cord somewhat and those symptoms are common! Just wanted you to know there are others who understand how you feel - I hope and pray that with time your grief and fears will decrease.
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Avatar_n_tn
My mother died 6 years ago in the same way. Her mother also. I was adopted and I still have a hard time with headaches. My sister who is a natural child did have some screening for aneurysms done and she is o.k. The suddeness of this is so traumatic, I am still not quite right.
This not ony causes fear of aneurysms, but if you look deeper its a fear of the suddenness of losing people so quickly or losing your own life. It changes you in many ways and some are good. I am more appreciative and never leave angry. Sorry for the loss of your father.
                              Sar
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Avatar_n_tn
The message above this is for not by Tiffini!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so sorry about your father. I lost my grandmother 11 years
ago to an anurism. at first she was diagnosed with alzimers desease and treated for that for nearly 4 years my mom and dad had moved away and I was the only one my mom could count on to watch over my grandmother I took her to see her phycitrist(sp)
made sure she ate good plenty of exercise, etc. I was very close to her. then my mom and dad came home for a visit and the night before they were to leave we all gathered at my house for dinner and grandma went to the bathroom, and we all heard this awful noise we went to check on her and there she stood babbling, right away we rushed her to the hospital and they performed a catscan revealing that she had been going through seris of strokes. and had an anurism. if she lived she would be a vegtable... her chances were not good.
the next day we all gathered in her hospital room where she passed away. it left me angry for a long time and still makes me angry when I think about it.  the fact she was mis diagnosed.
I will pray for you and your family to have peace.and remember they are always in your heart.
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