Department: Ask the Experts
GOBIN, Y. PIERRE
Y. Pierre Gobin, M.D., is professor of radiology at the Weill Cornell Medical College and an attending radiologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Q I had a brain aneurysm several years ago. Is there anything specific I should be doing to prevent this from recurring?
A There are many risk factors that could predispose you to developing a brain aneurysm.
Figure. DR. Y. PIERR...Image Tools
Some of them, such as aging and genetic predisposition, can't be changed. But, there are things you can do: most important among these would be quitting smoking and getting high blood pressure under control.
You can also lower your chances of developing an aneurysm by working on risk factors for atherosclerosis, such as high cholesterol, high blood sugar and lack of exercise.
It's important to have your doctor check your cerebral arteries regularly after an aneurysm. In the beginning you should be checked annually and then once every five years because the aneurysm may recur, or–in rare cases–another aneurysm may appear.
Your doctor can check for this with a noninvasive imaging technique, such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) scan.
You are at a greater risk of developing a brain aneurysm if you are female, had an aneurysm in the past, have one or more parents who had a brain aneurysm, or have one of several rare diseases known to be associated with aneurysms.