Emilia Clarke Survived 2 Brain Aneurysms; Not Many Do. Know About This Condition.
Your brain is protected by a wall of blood vessels. A weak spot in this wall can lead to the ballooning, over-inflation or protrusion of a blood vessel. And, when that ruptures, it bleeds into the area between the blood vessel wall and the covering of your head.
This leads to a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH) or a hemorrhagic stroke, which is what Clarke suffered. It refers to brain aneurysms where you bleed into the space outside the brain but inside the tissues that cover it. The increased pressure in the surrounding area and lack of blood flow in the vessel that has ruptured can cause a host of complications, including but not restricted to, stroke, speech impairment, loss of feeling in hands and legs, and maybe even instant death.
Signs & Symptoms Of A Brain Aneurysm:
Unfortunately, most times there aren’t any clear signs and symptoms of brain aneurysms. People can even end up walking around with one for years before it ruptures or leaks. In few and rare instances, last minute signs and symptoms you’ve suffered a bleed include an extreme headache, seizure, loss of consciousness, numbness, cognitive disability, nausea, blurred vision (signs similar to that of a stroke).
Brain aneurysms are caused due to the blood vessels’ walls getting weak. These blood vessels are present in the brain and in some cases can be the source of bleeding.
There are increased risk factors that higher the chance of suffering with this medical condition:
- High blood pressure
- Family history
- Pre-existence of the weakness in the blood vessels
- Severe head injury
- Cocaine abuse
- Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
- Body tissue disorders
- Coarctation of the aorta
It is most often diagnosed using an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan and angiography (MRA), or a CT (Computed Tomography) scan and angiography (CTA).
MRI scan is used and beneficial in looking for the aneurysms that have not ruptured yet in the brain. And CT scan is used and preferred if there is an inclination to think that the aneurysms in the brain have ruptured and caused bleeding.
It may so happen that the CT scan is not able to detect the burst aneurysms in the brain. If the report comes out to be negative inspite of you having strong signs or symptoms of a brain aneurysm, then a test is conducted, called as lumbar puncture. The procedure involves the removal of some sample spinal fluid from the lower part of the spine. This fluid is called cerebrospinal fluid and it is the fluid that supports and surrounds the brain and the spine.
These can be treated using surgeries, especially preventive surgeries if there is a chance or a high risk factor of having a brain aneurysm. The various surgical procedures are:
- Neurosurgical clipping
- Endovascular coiling
Are You At Risk Of Suffering SAH?
In a recent essay for The New Yorker, Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke (known for her role as ‘Mother of Dragons’ Daenerys Targaryen), revealed that she had suffered not one, but two brain aneurysm while filming Seasons 1 & 2.
And while Clarke survived both with the help of surgery and medical intervention, it’s fairly uncommon for those who suffer two aneurysms to make it out alive. Now, let’s understand this condition that can often come without warning. Brain aneurysm can lead to loss of speech, cognitive disabilities, seizures, and even have a patient slip into coma.
Many studies suggest the brain aneurysms like Subarachnoid Haemorrhage usually are more common among those aged 40-65. Genetics, geographical ancestry, lifestyle choices like drinking, smoking and doing drugs, and conditions like high blood pressure can collectively determine whether you are at risk of suffering a brain aneurysm.
Just as doctors emphasise, the best way to improve your chances of surviving an aneurysm is to detect it early. If you have a family history of members suffering from aneurysms, strokes or seizures, you must get screened at regular intervals.
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