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Family history of brain aneurysms could create need for screening

A brain aneurysm can strike a person in Texas without warning. People with a strong family history of aneurysms occurring in first-degree relatives might meet the medical guidelines for screening. Magnetic resonance imaging with angiography or computed tomography with angiography have the potential to detect weakened vessels in the cranium. MRIs usually represent the first step while physicians reserve CTAs for more advanced diagnostics.

Medical guidelines recommend aneurysm screening for people with two or more close relatives known to have suffered a brain aneurysm. Screening should start when people are in their 20s. Medical researchers suspect that people might develop aneurysms at younger ages than their ancestors. Their aneurysms might burst at smaller sizes as well. Early detection of aneurysms creates opportunities for effective treatment. Every 5 or 10 years after the initial screening, people should get a new brain scan. Women with a family history of this medical problem face a heightened risk.

Additional risk factors for brain aneurysms include cigarette smoking, polycystic kidney disease, long-term hypertension and abuse of cocaine, crack or amphetamines. Diseases that affect protein structures, like Marfan or Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, add to the likelihood of brain aneurysms.

When a person suffers a negative medical event because a physician failed to order a recommended test or screening, medical malpractice might have occurred. An attorney familiar with representing medical cases may offer assistance to someone injured by medical negligence. After consulting an independent medical expert, an attorney might determine that the person's treatment did not meet the legal standards of care. This information may be presented to the physician and insurance company along with a claim for damages. The law might support the recovery of compensation to pay for medical bills, ongoing therapy and loss of income.

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