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Everything You Need to Know About Brain Aneurysm: Part 2

A brain aneurysm is a silent killer. It doesn’t come with any signs or symptoms until it ruptures, which is a life-threatening situation. Also called cerebral aneurysm, this condition affects 1 in every 50 Americans. It is greatly linked to high blood pressure — the leading cause of stroke, heart disease, and death in the United States.

In the first part of this blog series, we talked about the signs and symptoms of ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysm and their differences in terms of prognosis and survivability. Now, we’re going to delve deeper into the pathology that leads to the development of brain aneurysm, the causes, risk factors, and prevention tips.

Even after surviving a ruptured brain aneurysm, it takes teamwork between the healthcare team and the patient to achieve a full recovery, according to experts in Neulife post acute rehabilitation facility.

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Causes and risk factors for brain aneurysm

The following factors can predispose you to have a brain aneurysm:

  • Over 40 years old
  • Family history of aneurysm
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Genetic disorders that weaken the arterial wall

How brain aneurysm develops

Atherosclerotic arteries, smoking, and high blood pressure can all damage the wall of the arteries in the brain. When the structural integrity of the arterial wall is damaged, the body will initiate an inflammatory response to that area. It will flood the damaged area with macrophages and white blood cells.

This reaction will change the function of the cells in the artery from contractile to pro-inflammatory, which leads to a decrease in the number of smooth muscle cells in the area and thinning of the arterial wall.

A thin arterial wall is weak and can dilate or balloon from the pressure exerted by the arterial blood, leading to a brain aneurysm.

Can brain aneurysm be prevented?

Brain aneurysms cannot always be prevented. However, there are certain tips that you can do to lower your risk.

Since brain aneurysms are greatly linked to cigarette smoking and hypertension, a lifestyle change can be of great benefit to patients. Other actionable health tips include:

  • Practicing healthy eating habits
  • Watching your alcohol intake
  • Keeping your body weight within the normal range
  • Having a regular exercise routine

Ruptured aneurysm: What to do?

When a brain aneurysm ruptures, patients usually feel a sudden, severe, blinding headache. Other symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Heart attack

Patients who manifest these symptoms must be brought to the nearest emergency room, as this is a life-threatening situation.

Patients who survive will have to undergo neuro rehab and post acute rehabilitation. The recovery period may take a few months to years.

Where to get the best neuro rehab services?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. As one of the post acute rehabilitation centers in Florida, its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary and vocational counseling, and more.

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. If you would like more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please contact us.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Everything You Need to Know About Brain Aneurysms: Part 1

A brain aneurysm, medically known as a cerebral aneurysm, develops when a weakened part of a brain artery bulges out, creating a pocket filled with blood. Whether big or small, this ballooned spot in the artery can press on the tissues surrounding it. If the brain aneurysm ruptures, bleeding will occur, a condition known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

The exact number of Americans with a brain aneurysm is hard to determine, as the condition doesn’t usually come with obvious signs and symptoms. However, researchers estimate that around 3-5% of Americans develop brain aneurysms.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 30,000 people in the United States suffer from a ruptured brain aneurysm every year. Patients who survive will need to undergo neuro rehabilitation to help with their recovery.

Signs and symptoms of a brain aneurysm

Unruptured brain aneurysm

A small, unruptured brain aneurysm doesn’t usually have signs and symptoms. However, a large aneurysm, which measures between 11 to 25 millimeters, can exert pressure on adjacent tissues and nerves, leading to the following manifestations:

  • Numbness and weakness
  • Pain felt above and behind one eye
  • One-sided facial paralysis
  • Pupil dilation
  • Double vision

Ruptured brain aneurysm

When an aneurysm ruptures, it can lead to life-threatening conditions such as brain injury, stroke, coma, and death. Therefore, if you observe any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Sudden, severe headache, usually described as the worst headache ever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Neuro Rehab and Recovery

According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, the recovery period for patients who survived a ruptured brain aneurysm is harder and longer compared to patients with an unruptured brain aneurysm. Choosing a Neuro Rehab facility is a crucial part of the process, as this plays an important role in every patient’s road to recovery.

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Where to get the best neuro rehabilitation services?

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in brain injury rehabilitation. As one of the best brain injury rehabilitation centers in Florida, its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, and cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary and vocational counseling, and more.

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. If you would like more information about NeuLife Rehabilitation Services, please contact us.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Fall Prevention Guidance from a Physical Therapist

Falls are a growing problem. Oftentimes a fall causes functional impairments, increased pain, decreased activity, and reduced quality of life. Reports show that falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), accounting for more than 49% of TBIs among children, and 81% among adults aged over 64 years. Falls also contribute to about 31% of all spinal cord related injuries and are the leading cause of injury-related emergency department visits for older adults.

Considering that around 50% of older adults do not resume independent living after sustaining an injury in a fall, it is crucial to seek post-acute rehabilitation after a fall occurs. We never plan for falls to happen and even more so we cannot predict their severity. Therefore, at Neulife Rehabilitation we believe prevention is key, and today we will talk more about just that!

What is a fall?

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, a fall is an unexpected event in which the person comes to contact with the ground, floor or lower level. It is also important to clarify that a fall was not the result of someone’s purposeful action like a push, or of a medical event, such as a heart attack.

Risk factors for falls

The first step in successful prevention is to understand what makes you more likely to sustain a fall. Research shows that the cumulative effect of multiple interacting factors increases the risk of a fall. Therefore, our post-acute rehab specialists have compiled a list of fall risk factors for you to look out for.

    • Orthostatic hypotension/positional low blood pressure – A blood pressure drop during transitional changes such as laying down to sitting up. This may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and imbalance.
    • Weakness in your trunk, legs, and hands – Strength and coordination within our ankles, hips, and trunk allows counteraction to episodes of imbalance by shifting our center of mass, thus preventing falls. Also, decreased grip strength is related to falls.
    • Decreased range of motion in your legs and trunk – Flexibility of the ankle joint, in particular, has demonstrated the strongest relationship with balance and is essential when challenged with external forces.
    • Decreased walking speed – Community-dwelling older adults are 54% more likely to fall if their walking speed is below 70 cm/s.
  • Vision and sensation impairments
  • Trouble with memory and thinking

 

  • Medications – Some medications can have side effects that affect your balance such as lightheadedness or impaired vision. These would make you more likely to sustain a fall. Therefore, speak to your pharmacist about your medication’s side effects, and fully understand why you are taking each drug, proper dosage and frequency.

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If any of the above are relevant to you and you have not yet consulted a doctor about them, do so immediately!

Strategies to prevent falls

    • Engage in regular physical activity
      Multicomponent exercise plans including a combination of balance and strength training demonstrate the highest levels of success. You can try activities such as Tai Chi or Yoga!
  • Remove home hazards! 

 

      • Remove obstacles you could trip over including boxes, cords, and clutter.
      • Secure loose rugs with tape or slip-resistant backing.
      • Store items such as clothes, dishes, and food within reach.
      • Use nonslip mats in the bathtub or shower. Also, you can use a shower chair, or to sit while bathing.
      • Focus on the task that you are currently engaged in.
      • Don’t walk with your hands full.
      • Use night lights in low dimmed areas and hallways.
      • Be aware of uneven surfaces – or remove them.
  • Proper nutrition and a healthy sleep schedule
    These can reduce your risk of falls as you will feel more alert, energetic and focused.

 

  • Assistive Devices
    Correctly adjusted canes and walkers can significantly improve your confidence, stability, and conserve energy. Incorrectly adjusted ones actually increase the risk of falls. Speak to a physical therapist to determine which assistive device is best suited to your needs.
  • Wear supportive footwear
    Shoes with heel support, proper fit, and slip-resistant soles may reduce joint pain, thus improving your stability and posture.
  • Management of fear
    Those who have fallen become more nervous, and may even become sedentary. Post-acute rehab physicians will work with you to build your confidence with movement, and help you return to activities you enjoy.
  • Physical therapy often plays a vital role in fall prevention

A physical therapist (PT) can conduct assessments to determine your level of fall risk and identify limitations. PTs can develop a personalized program that is comprehensive to improve strength, balance, endurance, speed, reactions/coordination, and confidence with movement while performing daily activities. If you would like to learn more about how a PT can help you improve your quality of life, do not hesitate to contact us.

Learn more about Post Acute Rehabilitation at NeuLife Rehab

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the LARGEST residential post-acute rehabilitation facilities in the Southeast with specialized rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Specialty Programs and Residential Rehabilitation.

Our skilled clinical experts work with each patient individually to create a customized rehabilitation program best suited to the patient’s needs. Every day we work with the goal of providing our patients with the highest quality of care. We believe that healing, wellness, and personal fulfillment are best accomplished in a positive and uplifting therapeutic environment where staff encourage, assist, and support all of their patients. And that is what we do!

To learn more about our facility, our staff and our work contact us, or schedule a tour! You can call us at 800-626-3876, or send us an email on info@neuliferehab.com. Find us at 2725 Robie Avenue, Mount Dora, Florida 32757.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Are you at risk?

Brain injury is incredibly common in the United States, with a staggering 2.8 million Americans sustaining TBI annually – and TBI is just one category of brain injury. However, most TBIs experienced are mild, commonly called concussions. Additionally, nearly 90% of people affected by TBI are treated and released from an emergency department. What happens then? If the patient is still showing TBI symptoms – emotional, physical, or cognitive – they should reach out to our rehabilitation center. At NeuLife, our TBI rehabilitation programs are designed to promote recovery to the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration.

Now that you know how prevalent TBI is in the US, let us go deeper into what TBI actually is.

TBI explained

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is just a subgroup of brain injury. Generally, brain injury is categorized as pre birth or acquired. The former refers to an injury, which is hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or introduced by birth trauma. Whereas, acquired brain injury (ABI) appears after birth, commonly due to external factors. ABI can then be divided into three different types:

    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): alteration in brain function, or brain pathology, caused by an external force.
    • Mild TBI (MTBI): a brief change in mental status following a forceful head motion, or impact. Also known as, concussion, minor head trauma, minor TBI, minor brain injury, or minor head injury.
  • Non-traumatic: brain injuries not caused by external trauma, but by conditions. These include strokes, aneurysms, and tumors.

 

Physicians specialized in brain injury can provide effective and comfortable brain injury rehab to patients suffering from all types and severities of brain injury.

Risk factors

TBI is sustained as a result of external trauma, such as a fall or motor vehicle accident. However, as the CDC explains, certain societal groups are most at risk. According to the data from 2014, the factor that makes you most at risk of sustaining TBI is your age. Also, people in different age groups are at the highest risk of sustaining a different type of TBI.

They found that the highest rate of deaths, hospitalizations, and ED visits was experienced by persons 75 years of age and older – ED visit rates were also highest for children 0-4 years old.

Overall, falls are the leading cause of TBI-related death, hospitalization and ED visits. Adults 55 years of age and older are at the highest risk across all severity levels. However, children aged 0 to 4, and 0 to 17 were also at the highest risk of TBI-related ED visits, and hospitalizations, respectively.

As we age, we are exposed to different environments and our lifestyles change. Therefore, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for persons 15-34 and older adults aged ≥75 years, and of hospitalization for persons aged 15 to 44 years of age. Whereas, children aged 5 to 14 years old experienced the most TBI-related ED visits due to being struck by, or against an object.

Remember, if you need assistance and support with recovering from TBI, regardless of the severity level, contact our TBI rehabilitation center. We are experts in providing physical, emotional and psychological treatments to make your everyday activities easier and more fulfilling.

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Learn more about our Brain Injury Rehab!

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the LARGEST residential brain injury rehabilitation facilities in the Southeast with specialized rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Specialty Programs and Residential Rehabilitation. Our skilled clinical experts work with each patient individually to create a customized rehabilitation program best suited to the patient’s needs.

Every day we work with the goal of providing our patients with the highest quality of care. We believe that healing, wellness, and personal fulfillment are best accomplished in a positive and uplifting therapeutic environment where staff encourage, assist, and support all of their patients. And that is what we do!

To learn more about our facility, our staff and our work contact us, or schedule a tour! You can call us at 800-626-3876, or send us an email on info@neuliferehab.com. Find us at 2725 Robie Avenue, Mount Dora, Florida 32757.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.