A cerebral aneurysm (sometimes called a Berry Aneurysm or Saccular Aneurysm) is a weak spot in an artery carrying blood to the brain, causing a bulge in the blood vessel, similar to that seen on an inner tube of a worn bicycle tyre.
Aneurysms tend to occur at the branch in the vessel, usually near the base of the brain, where the blood vessel (artery) lies in the fluid filled space surrounding the brain (called the subarachnoid space). In the brain, these blood vessels carry blood to the brain at high pressure compared to the veins that carry the blood back to the heart.
The ballooning develops because of a weakness of the artery wall. Aneurysms can enlarge and compress or apply pressure to normal structures inside the head. They can also rupture allowing blood to escape from the blood vessel, under high pressure, into the fluid-containing space around the brain, or even directly into the brain tissue. This can cause a sudden severe headache – typically, but not always, described by people as “the worst headache I have ever had”.
Associated with this headache can be neck stiffness, vomiting, and a very great sensitivity to light (with normal daylight hurting the eyes) so people with a leaking or ruptured brain aneurysm may prefer to be in a dark room.
Prof. Yan’s research showed that aneurysms can grow in size over years and statistically speaking, about one third of aneurysms will eventually increase in size.
Weblink to Bernard Yan’s academic paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20004101
Download Bernard Yan’s academic paper on risk of aneurysm growth
There are two different ways to treat aneurysms:
1. Minimally invasive endovascular therapy and
2. Craniotomy and clipping of aneurysms by clipping.
Minimally invasive endovascular therapy include coiling of aneurysms and implantation of flow diversion devices. Professor Yan showed that flow diversion devices are safe and effective in the obliteration of cerebral aneurysms.
Download Bernard Yan’s academic paper on pipeline flow diversion device.
Bernard Yan showed that the treatment of acutely ruptured aneurysms are best treated as early as possible whereby early treatment is associated with better outcomes.
Weblink to Bernard Yan’s academic paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21680909
Download Bernard Yan’s academic paper on early treatment of ruptured aneurysms.