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Healthy Living: Signs of condition can go unnoticed

Dr  David Jellinek, who operated on Linda Carter's brain tumour, at the Royal Hallamshire Hopital.

Dr David Jellinek, who operated on Linda Carter's brain tumour, at the Royal Hallamshire Hopital.

An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall, usually where it branches off.

As blood passes through the weakened area, the pressure causes a small area to bulge outwards like a balloon.

Aneurysms can develop anywhere in the body, but the two most common places are in the abdominal aorta - the artery that transports blood away from the heart - and the brain.

Most brain aneurysms will only cause noticeable symptoms if they burst - this causes a haemorrhage, where bleeding can lead to extensive brain damage.

Other symptoms include a sudden, agonising headache, similar to a sudden hit on the head. Stiffness in the neck, sickness and pain are also signs.

Smoking, a poor diet and lack of exercise can increase the risk of an aneurysm.

About three in five people who suffer a brain haemorrhage will die within two weeks.

Anybody who suspects that someone has developed a ruptured aneurysm should call 999 immediately.

 

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