Brain aneurysms may result from hereditary causes, aging or atherosclerosis, in which the arteries harden, according to WebMD. Gender, race, smoking and high blood pressure are several factors that increase a person's risk of developing an aneurysm.
People who previously suffered an aneurysm are at a higher risk of having another aneurysm, notes WebMD. Women and those with a family history of aneurysms are also at an increased risk of developing the condition. Ruptured aneurysms occur more often in African Americans than Caucasians.
A brain aneurysm is a protruding, weak region in the wall of an artery supplying blood to the brain, explains WebMD. In rare instances, a brain aneurysm can break and release blood into the skull, leading to a stroke. A ruptured aneurysm, known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage, may damage the brain or cause death.
Most people with brain aneurysms discover the condition through medical tests for other unrelated conditions, states WebMD. A brain aneurysm often does not cause symptoms, reducing the likelihood of early detection. When an aneurysm ruptures, a person may experience sudden symptoms, such as neck pain, speech changes, blurred vision or intense headaches, depending on the severity of the aneurysm and the parts of the brain it affects. Anyone who suddenly experiences these symptoms should seek emergency medical help.