What Causes a Brain Aneurysm?

There is a myriad of reasons that make it quite useful to have the latest information as to what causes a brain aneurysm. This is useful information to know because any disorder which interrupts or otherwise adversely affects the flow of blood, and therefore the required oxygen, to the brain can be quite serious if not monitored and treated properly. The medical term for this network of life-giving arteries is the cerebrovascular system. A weakness in the wall of one of these arteries or veins results in ballooning. In the worst case scenario, this bulge could end up bursting and causing some trauma.

What Causes A Brain Aneurysm?

It is relevant to know about the weakness causing the ballooning, but what causes that weakness in the first place? The primary contributor is either a disease acquired during life or genetic conditions which a person is predisposed to. Also, a variety of negative lifestyle choices have been linked to the creation of aneurysms as well. Smoking and excessive drinking are not good habits to have when concerned about brain health. Likewise, illegal drugs (particularly cocaine) have also shown to be factors. It is important that people overcome these habits so that the chance of getting one of these nasty problems will be greatly reduced.

Genetics Can Play A Role

Besides these lifestyle choices which have already been linked to so many other health problems as well, there can also be a genetic predisposition which makes it more likely that a person will manifest a cerebral aneurysm. One such problem that has been linked is called aortic narrowing. This is where the main artery of the body is narrow at a certain point. Or, there may be abnormal connections between arteries and veins. While there are different instances when these genetic conditions can cause a brain aneurysm, they are also generally linked to the abdominal aortic aneurysm. It is especially important to care for one's health even more carefully if it is known that either of these factors are present. Connective tissue disease has a number of complications which can lead to developments in the brain as well.

Specific Genes Have Been Linked

A number of different specific genes have also been linked with these aneurysms. Here is a list of those:

  • Perlecan
  • Endothelin receptor A
  • Elastin
  • Cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor
  • Collagen type 1 A2
  • Endothelial nitric oxide synthase

It is also interesting to note that a mutation has been found which may actually help guard against aneurysms. This mutation is found in interleukin 6, and people with it can be somewhat protected from the harmful brain troubles.

Obesity Can Play A Role

Obesity has been linked to a number of health problems, and it can be a partial cause of a brain aneurysm. It is vital that people take the necessary steps if they have a body mass index over 30. In many instances of obesity it has also led the sufferer to have high blood pressure along with it. This high blood pressure causes the circulatory to have to work harder than it was designed to do in the first place. With this type of strain, the vessels simply cannot take anymore and they balloon as described above and add to the complications. A healthy diet is essential along with a steady exercise routine so that the body can begin to fight back against the excessive fat.

Alcohol and Alcoholism

Alcohol is another one of those bad habits that simply has so many negative consequences that people choose to ignore. It has been shown in a number of studies that even just a moderate level of alcohol consumption can lead to serious brain aneurysms. This is considered to be a person who drinks at least two alcoholic beverages each day.


As it can be seen, there are all sorts of contributing factors to a brain aneurysm, but it has not been completely decided what is happening in each specific case. Regardless, most of these factors are related to negative lifestyle choices which can be avoided with the proper mindset. The sudden death that can sometimes occur should be an incentive to keep everything in check.

Last Reviewed:
June 03, 2017
Last Updated:
June 03, 2017