Joni Mitchell & 8 Brain Aneurysm Risk Factors Every Woman Should Know
Our hearts pour out to Joni Mitchell and the approximate 30,000 people a year that suffer from a Brain Aneurysm in the United States. Of those who survive, over 60% will suffer some permanent deficit.
This week, Leslie Morris, Joni Mitchell’s conservator, approved the following statement to be made through her website, www.JoniMitchell.com:
“Joni did in fact suffer an aneurysm. However, details that have emerged in the past few days are mostly speculative. The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she’s speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she’s getting better each day. A full recovery is expected.”
We are fortunate and grateful that Joni is still with us, considering 4 in 10 ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal.
Joni is not alone, as brain aneurysms are more common in women than in men. As such, it is important that women are aware of what a brain aneurysm is, what happens to your brain during an aneurysm and the many risk factors.
A brain aneurysm (AN-yoo-riz-um) is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel in the brain that can leak or rupture, causing bleeding into the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).
Most often a ruptured brain aneurysm occurs in the space between the brain and the thin tissues covering the brain. This type of hemorrhagic stroke is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
What Happens to your Brain During an Aneurysm?
“When an aneurysm ruptures, blood enters, under considerable pressure, into the spinal fluid space that normally surrounds your brain. Brain aneurysms are a problem with the arteries, which transmit blood under pressure, pumped by the heart. Any increase in volume within the skull (blood, in this case), quickly increases the pressure within the skull. This type of mechanical pressure can damage the brain by having a squeezing effect, otherwise referred to as mass effect. In more severe situations, part of the brain may herniate into a space where it shouldn’t be in”
– Michael Chen, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Rush University Medial Center.
There are many risk factors at play, including genetics, that may cause a brain aneurysm. Below are 8 that every woman should be aware of.
8 Brain Aneurysm Risk Factors
- High Blood Pressure
- Alcohol Consumption
- A Brain Injury
- Congenital defects
- Certain blood infections
- Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the arteries)
- Lower Estrogen Levels after Menopause
Much research is needed to detect and prevent devastating brain aneurysms like Joni Mitchell’s. Until then, a brain aneurysm will continue to strike someone in the US every 18 minutes. Spread the word.