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Aneurysm (Brain) (cont.)

What causes a brain aneurysm?

The development of brain aneurysms is considered a controversial topic. Currently, most researchers think that a combination of factors, both genetic and environmental, lead to the development of brain aneurysms. For example, some aneurysms may have a strong genetic component that is inherited (for example, individuals with polycystic kidney disease and arteriovenous malformations are more likely to develop aneurysms). However, environmental pressures such as hypertension are also associated with brain aneurysm development. In addition, some aneurysms are associated with environmental factors like infections or trauma.

Who is at risk for a brain aneurysm?

There are a number of medical conditions that increase risk for brain aneurysms. Individuals with the following conditions are at higher risk -- polycystic kidney disease, fibromuscular dysplasia, arteriovenous malformations, lupus, sickle cell anemia, bacterial endocarditis, fungal infections, hypertension, cancers, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, illicit drug use, head trauma, and syndromes that involve connective or elastic tissue problems (for example, collagen disorders). Women are more likely to develop brain aneurysms than men (the ratio is 3 to 2). This list represents many people who are at higher risk for brain aneurysms, but it does not include every possible risk factor.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/3/2016

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