Legendary rapper Dr Dre was hospitalized Tuesday after suffering from a brain aneurysm, which can quickly become fatal if ruptured.
The music icon then took to Instagram, thanking fans for their kind words, saying he “is doing very well and receiving excellent care” from his medical team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. in Los Angeles, California.
Following the news, some may be wondering: what is a brain aneurysm?
Read on for a breakdown of the potentially fatal event.
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First of all, what is a brain aneurysm?
Simply put, a brain aneurysm is a “weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that swells or swells and fills with blood,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
A brain aneurysm “looks like a berry hanging from a rod,” describes the Mayo Clinic.
Most of the time, a brain aneurysm does not cause any symptoms – it is only after it has grown steadily, growing in size, that some people experience symptoms such as pain above and behind the eye, paralysis on one side of the face, numbness, and weakness, among other signs.
However, when the aneurysm ruptures, “you always experience a sudden and extremely severe headache,” says the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which notes that this severe headache is generally described as the “Worst headache in life”.
Double vision, nausea, vomiting, seizures, unconsciousness and beyond can occur after the aneurysm bursts.
There are three types of brain aneurysms: a saccular aneurysm, a spindle aneurysm, and a mycotic aneurysm. Aneurysms are also categorized by size, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Small, Large and Giants.
What causes a brain aneurysm?
Overall, the causes of brain aneurysms are unknown, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In some cases, however, one can be born with a brain aneurysm, “usually resulting from an abnormality in an arterial wall,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Hereditary factors may also put some people at a higher risk of brain aneurysms, for example if they have genetic connective tissue disorders, have a history of aneurysms in a primary family member, such as a parent or sibling or a sister, or have polycystic kidney disease, among other risk factors.
That said, untreated high blood pressure, smoking, the use of certain drugs (including cocaine), and excessive alcohol consumption, among other risk factors, can also lead to a brain aneurysm in some cases.
What are the complications of a ruptured brain aneurysm and how is it treated?
There are several complications with a ruptured brain aneurysm.
“When a brain aneurysm ruptures, the bleeding usually only lasts a few seconds. Blood can cause direct damage to surrounding cells, and bleeding can damage or kill other cells. It also increases the pressure inside the skull, ”says the Mayo Clinic. “If the pressure gets too high, the blood and oxygen supply to the brain can be disrupted to the point that unconsciousness or even death can occur.”
Complications that can follow after a rupture include the risk of re-bleeding, vasospasm – when the blood vessels in the brain ‘constrict erratically,’ which can cause strokes), and hyponatremia (when sodium balance in the blood is challenged, and seizures), among other potential complications.
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“Surgery, endovascular treatments or other therapies are often recommended to manage symptoms and prevent damage from unruptured and ruptured aneurysms,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
“About 25% of people with ruptured brain aneurysms do not survive the first 24 hours; 25% of them die of complications within 6 months. People who suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhage may have permanent neurological damage. Other people recover with little or no disability ”. adds the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which notes that “diagnosing and treating a brain aneurysm as soon as possible will help increase the chances of a full recovery.”