Lawmakers want to increase awareness of brain aneurysms

Symptoms go unnoticed for many people

THINKSTOCK

BOSTON (WWLP) – Brain aneurysms are not often spoken about, but approximately 30,000 people suffer from a rupture each year in the United States. In fact, every 18 minutes, an aneurysm occurs without warning. Lawmakers and advocates are hoping to raise more awareness of the condition to help save lives.

An aneurysm is a weak bulging spot on the wall of the brain. About 1 in 50 people has one, and for many, symptoms go unnoticed. In some cases, however, the aneurysm can rupture and cause a stroke, or can even be fatal.

Dozens of people gathered at the State House Monday for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation’s awareness event, to draw attention to the warning signs, including headaches, blurred vision, and numbness.

Several Beacon Hill lawmakers and officials have seen first-hand the effects of this disorder, including Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford), whose wife died from the disorder.

“There are a lot of people who survive these now who didn’t five years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, and 20 years ago,” Gov. Charlie Baker said.

Baker declared September as “Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month” in Massachusetts.