Brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke that occurs when an artery bursts in the brain and causes bleeding in the surrounding tissues. It is a life-threatening medical condition that requires immediate treatment and has high morbidity and mortality rates.
Experts say the incidence of brain hemorrhages is growing faster among younger and middle-aged adults compared to older adults. In this article, we will explore the types, causes, symptoms, and treatments for brain hemorrhage in young adults.
Types Of Brain Hemorrhages In Young Adults
There are mainly four types of brain hemorrhage depending on the location of the bleeding, and they are:
🔹 Epidural hemorrhage: This bleeding occurs between the skull bone and the outermost membrane of the brain, called the dura mater.
🔹 Intracerebral hemorrhage: This bleeding occurs inside the brain, either in the lobes, pons, or cerebellum.
🔹 Subarachnoid hemorrhage: This bleeding happens between the pia mater and the arachnoid membrane.
🔹 Subdural hemorrhage: This type of bleeding happens below the inner layer of the dura mater and above the brain.
Subarachnoid and Intracerebral hemorrhages are more prominent in young adults compared to older ones.
What Are The Symptoms?
Brain hemorrhages or brain bleeds can have varying symptoms. Some of the symptoms of brain hemorrhage include sudden numbness, weakness, or paralysis of the face, arms, or legs, especially on one side of the body; sudden and severe headaches; confusion causing trouble in speaking or understanding the speech; loss of vision or difficulty in seeing; loss of balance or coordination; difficulty in swallowing; stiff neck; hyperventilation; heart palpitations; and seizures.
What Are The Causes And The Risk Factors?
Several factors can lead to a brain hemorrhage, and the most common reasons include:
🔹Trauma: This is the major cause of brain hemorrhages in younger populations compared to older ones. Traumas are injuries that happen in the brain from a fall, accident, or any kind of blow to the head.
🔹 Hypertension: High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic condition that can damage or weaken the walls of blood vessels and cause the blood vessels to rupture or leak. Hypertension is a preventable cause of brain hemorrhage.
🔹 Aneurysm: This is a condition that causes the artery wall to weaken or bulge. When left untreated, the walls bleed or burst, leading to strokes.
🔹 Bleeding disorders: Disorders like hemophilia, thrombocytopenia, or sickle cell anemia can cause abnormalities in platelets in the blood and clotting. Sometimes the drugs used to treat or prevent clots in the stroke or heart may cause a brain hemorrhage.
🔹 Blood vessel abnormalities: These are also called arteriovenous malformations (AVM). AVM is a tangle of blood vessels that irregularly connect the veins and arteries, disrupting the flow of blood and oxygen in the body. This weakens the blood vessels in and around the brain and causes them to bleed or rupture.
🔹 Amyloid angiopathy: This is a medical condition where proteins called amyloid build up within the walls of arteries in the brain. This causes bleeding in the brain.
🔹 Tumors: The occurrence of tumors like angiomas and metastatic tumors can cause bleeding in the brain.
🔹 Liver disease: When the liver fails, there is a stop in the production of proteins needed for clotting. This can cause internal bleeding in the body.
🔹 Other factors: Increased use of alcohol, cigarettes, and other illicit drugs, use of birth control pills, and certain conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, like eclampsia, can cause a brain hemorrhage.
How Can It Be Diagnosed And Treated?
When patients are brought to the ER with a suspected brain hemorrhage, doctors study the patient’s symptoms, family history, and medical history. They immediately run certain diagnostic tests to confirm the condition, like computed tomography (CT) scans, angiograms, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Treatments for brain hemorrhage can be classified into immediate and long-term treatments involving medications and surgical measures.
In typical cases, the success rate is high when the patients are treated within 3 hours of the incident. The longer it takes, the higher the risks. Immediate treatments include controlling blood pressure and bleeding. Under severe conditions, doctors also recommend surgery. Along with this, they may need to inject or take medications to treat immediate symptoms.
While patients with large or severe bleeding undergo surgery to remove the hematoma, patients with minor symptoms or minimal deficits are treated using medicines. Surgery is done to relieve the pressure on the brain, remove an AVM, clot, or tumor, or seal the aneurysm.
Long-term care involves medications to manage the symptoms. This can reduce the risk of hemorrhage in the future. Rehabilitation and therapy are also given to the patients to help them adjust to life after a brain hemorrhage or regain normal health.
If you have signs or symptoms suggestive of brain hemorrhage, you should seek immediate medical attention, as it can increase your chance of survival. Regular check-ups and preventive measures should be implemented to prevent such conditions from occurring.