An Overview of Brain Aneurysms with Dr. Mark Swaim MD PhD


Brain aneurysms are a health condition that can occur to anyone. It starts with a swollen blood vessel in the brain that resembles a balloon’s weak spot. If you examine such a balloon, you will find its soft spot is often stretched out and relatively thin.

This area of the brain’s blood vessel gradually gets worn out due to the constant flow of blood inside. It forms into a bulge. It looks like a small berry and resembles a bubble.

Dr.Mark Swaim MD Ph.D. – What are brain aneurysms?

Dr. Mark Swaim MD PhD is a neurosurgeon specializing in brain aneurysms. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and in his free time, he is an urban gardener and loves to run marathons. When he was 11 years old, he lost his elder brother Eric suddenly due to ruptured brain aneurysms at a beach with friends.

There were no warning signs. After this unfortunate incident, he decided to dedicate his life to the study and treatment of brain aneurysms to help others prevent this medical condition.

Are they dangerous?

He points out that from the above, the presence of a brain aneurysms does sound alarming. However, he says that you will not face any severe health problems even if you have it. Most patients lead a normal life without even knowing about it.

However, in extremely rare cases, it can grow bigger, leak, or even explode. This bleeding inside the brain is called a hemorrhagic stroke. It is a severe condition and needs urgent medical attention and care.

The consequences of ruptured brain aneurysms

This condition is life-threatening and causes a reduced flow of blood to the brain. It is called cerebral vasospasm and leads to-

  1. Coma
  2. Permanent damage to the brain
  3. Hydrocephalus or an excess of spinal fluid inside the brain

Are there any symptoms to be identified beforehand?

Brain aneurysms generally do not give you any symptoms; however, they will create pressure on the brain and its nerves. The following are some of the warning signs of an incoming brain aneurysm –

  1. Vomiting and a feeling of nausea
  2. Stiff neck
  3. Dilated pupils
  4. Drowsiness
  5. Light sensitivity
  6. Double vision or blurred vision
  7. Trouble with mental awareness or confusion
  8. Seizure
  9. Loss of regular coordination and balance
  10. Difficulty in speech

If you suffer from headaches, pain behind your eyes, a feeling of numbness and weakness on one side of the face, double or blurred vision

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They are generally formed at the fork of the blood vessels- this is where they usually branch off as these regions are weaker. They are commonly detected at the base of your brain and need immediate medical attention.

Dr. Mark Swaim MD PhD states brain aneurysms generally develop with age. They are common with people after the age of 40 years. You might have a defect in your blood vessel at birth. Research shows that women generally have a higher rate of brain aneurysms over men.

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