Subarachnoid haemorrhage (S.A.H.), brain aneurysm, cerebral aneurysm

What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a swelling caused by a weakness in the wall of a blood vessel.

Aneurysms can develop in any blood vessel in the body, but the brain is one of the most common places.

If the aneurysm bursts/ruptures that results in a bleed this is brain haemorrhage, which is a type of stroke.

What causes brain aneurysms?

The exact cause of a brain aneurysm is still unclear, although risk factors have been identified.

These include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • A family history of brain aneurysms

In some cases an aneurysm may develop because there was a weakness in the walls of the blood vessels at birth.

Brain aneurysms can develop in anyone at any age, but are more common in people over the age of 40.

What are the symptoms of a brain aneurysm?

Symptoms of an aneurysm may include:

  • a sudden painful headache
  • a stiff neck
  • pain when looking at the light
  • sickness and vomiting

A ruptured brain aneurysm is a medical emergency. If you suspect this is the case, call 999 immediately.

Are you affected by a brain aneurysm?

If you’ve been affected by a brain aneurysm, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with aneurysm, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with aneurysms from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with a brain aneurysm

In order to prevent getting an aneurysm, or to reduce the risk of an aneurysm rupturing, it is important to avoid smoking, eating a high-fat diet or being overweight. This is because these may damage your blood vessels.

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with a brain aneurysm? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including brain aneurysm, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The library at The Brain Charity has a range of resources on aneurysm and on a wide-range of disability related issues.

Visit our library to read our copy of the U.S. Brain Aneurysm Foundation’s Youth Fact Sheet ‘What is a brain aneurysm?’.

Brain Aneurysms – Know the Facts – Save a Life
by The Brain Aneurysm Foundation
Pamphlet, 2017

Cerebral Aneurysms
by NINDS Corporate
Pamphlet, 2013

Support groups

The Brain Haemorrhage Support Group, Liverpool (BHSG)

Health Unlocked

Health Unlocked has a brain aneurysm online support group that can be accessed here.

Check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities

BASIC (Brain and Spinal Injury Charity)

Brain and Spine Foundation

Helpline: 0808 808 1000



Helpline: 0808 800 2244