Narrator: This is Science Today. Aneurysms
are blood vessels that balloon out because of weakened
vessel walls. Although unruptured cerebral aneurysms
don't always present with symptoms, one classic warning
sign is a headache - but according to Dr. Clay Johnston
of the University of California, San Francisco, these
aren't normal headaches.
Johnston: It generally is very sudden onset
headache and very different in quality. Usually much
more severe than an ordinary headache. Patients usually
don't confuse this with a normal headache. They realize
that something different has happened. That would
be a sign that they had a sudden increase in the size
of an aneurysm or a leaking from the aneurysm.
Narrator: Ruptured aneurysms increase with
age and it's most common in women, but there are other
risk factors including smoking, drinking or having
And people with family histories tend to be more
likely to have one. So there's some predisposition
that you're born with, probably and superimposed on
that are the things you do in your life and your other
diseases, like hypertension.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.