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What is a Brain Aneurysm? Why do 1 in 50 People Have Them?

According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, an estimated 6.5 million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm, that is 1 in 50 people. The annual rate of rupture is approximately 8 – 10 per 100,000 people. So about 30,000 people in the United States suffer a brain aneurysm rupture each year.

A brain aneurysm is an abnormal bulging or ballooning of a blood vessel in the

brain called an artery. The bulging or ballooning is caused by weakness in the vessel wall. Aneurysms are filled with blood and in some circumstances may rupture, with potentially serious consequences including:

  • Severe Functional Disability

  • Cognitive Loss

  • Death

Factors that contribute to the development of aneurysms include:

  • Family History

  • Previous Aneurysms

  • Smoking

  • Drug Use

  • Oral Contraceptives

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption

The Facts About Brain Aneurysms

Brain aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35 to 60, but can occur in children as well. Most aneurysms develop after the age of 40. About 30,000 people in the United States suffer a brain aneurysm rupture each year. A brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes. Women are more likely than men to have a brain aneurysm (3:2 ratio) and particularly women over the age of 55, have a higher risk of brain aneurysm rupture than men (about 1.5 times the risk). African-Americans and Hispanics are about twice as likely to have a brain aneurysm rupture compared to whites. Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50% of cases. Of those who survive, about 66% suffer some permanent neurological deficit.

Treatment Options

The goal of treatment is to seal off the aneurysm from blood flow to prevent rupture or rebleeding.

Surgical Clipping

This method requires the opening of the skull to access the brain and blood vessels. The surgeon blocks blood flow to the aneurysm by applying a small metal clip to its base. There are also new minimally invasive surgical techniques can be used to improve recovery and decrease morbidity.

Endovascular Therapies

These minimally invasive techniques access and treat brain aneurysms through the blood vessels, without opening the skull. The treatment option recommended by

your physician may be based on your aneurysm location, size, and shape. There are three main types of

endovascular therapies:

  • Coil embolization with or without a stent

  • Flow diversion

  • WEB® Aneurysm Embolization System

WEB® – Aneurysm Embolization System

The WEB device is a tiny basket-like device made from ultra-fine wires braided together to form a flexible self-expanding mesh. The WEB device is intended to treat wide neck bifurcation aneurysms in certain areas of the brain and designed to:

  • Treat challenging aneurysms that often require multiple implants with a single device

  • Avoid the placement of a stent device inside the brain artery

  • Complete an endovascular aneurysm treatment with a shorter procedure time than alternative therapies

  • Possibly reduce medication taken after the procedure WEB®

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