Actor Emilia Clarke has recently told in an interview that she had suffered two brain aneurysms while filming for the series, in 2011 and 2013.


What is it?

  • Aneurysm is a swelling of the arteries and veins in any part of the body, and is caused by weakening of the walls.
  • It occurs most commonly in the aorta, back of the knees, brain or intestines.
  • If the aneurysm gets ruptured, it can even cause internal bleeding and stroke.
  • The swelling can be of two types. Either the complete blood vessel is swollen or a specific side of the blood vessel can bulge out from the sides.
  • Potential risk factors for aneurysm include smoking, age, high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension or tissue disorders. Pregnancy can also increase risk of aneurysm of the spleen.


Screening and diagnosis

  • Usually, an aneurysm remains undetected and screening may be required for patients needing monitoring or treatment.
  • Women being at lower risk of developing aneurysm, men must undergo ultrasound screening for sure around the age of 55 years and above. More so if they are regular smokers.
  • MRI scans are useful for identifying aneurysms that do not rupture but the symptoms are prevalent. In case the aneurysm gets ruptured and leads to the risk of bleeding in the brain, CT scans are preferred.
  • An angiogram may be performed in extreme cases with severe rupture and bleeding in the brain to identify the exact area for treatment.


Risk reduction

  • Most cases being congenital, it is not always possible to prevent aneurysm, but certain lifestyle changes can help reduce risk.
  • These include quitting smoking; maintaining a healthy blood pressure by sticking to a balanced diet; maintaining a healthy body weight; and avoiding a high cholesterol diet.