THE BRONX - Many in the region have been asking questions about brain aneurysms since the sudden death of ABC reporter Lisa Colagrossi last week.
"An aneurysm is essentially an outpouching of a wall of a blood vessel and it can be like a little balloon that has come off a weak portion of the blood vessel," says Kings County Hospital Center neurosurgeon Ali Sadr.
He says it is not known what causes an aneurysm, but the risk factors that are commonly associated with rupture of aneurysms are high blood pressure, smoking, excessive alcohol use and some disease conditions, such as polycystic kidney disease.
Sadr says that developing an aneurysm is incredibly rare, but it is important to know the signs and symptoms so that people can seek help when necessary.
He says that if someone is having very severe headache, they should seek medical care and go to their nearest emergency room because it can be easily screened with a head CT.
Other signs include sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, alteration in level of consciousness, drowsiness or a coma.
If doctors discover an aneurysm, there are surgical options to keep it from rupturing.