Tag Archives: ABC News

Pyrola asarifolia

Botanical Name : Pyrola asarifolia
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Genus: Pyrola
Species: P. asarifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Bog Wintergreen, Liverleaf wintergreen, Pink wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Habitat : Pyrola asarifolia is native to N. America – Alaska to Newfoundland, south to New York, California and New Mexico.It grows on wet soils of bogs, stream courses and around springs, mostly in shady areas and especially in coniferous woodlands, from the plains to around 2,700 metres in the mountains.

Description:
Pyrola asarifolia is an evergreen Perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Flowers: Raceme of 7 to 15 flowers on slender stalks at the top of the plant. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across with 5 round petals, pink or white with pink to pinkish purple edging, the edges often curled down. A cluster of stamens with dark pink to red tips is hidden under the upper petals. The style is light green, curved down and out below the lower petals like an elephant’s trunk.

Leaves and stem:
Leaves are basal, 1 to 1½ inches long, round to kidney shaped, often wider than long, the blade typically shorter than the leaf stalk. The tip may have slight point. The upper surface is very shiny. A few scale like leaves may be present on lower part of the flowering stem.
Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy acid soil that remains moist in the summer.  This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. This species is extremely rare and endangered in the wild.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously.
Medicinal Uses:
This plant was considered to be an effective remedy in the treatment of rheumatism. A decoction of the leaves, or the leaves and roots, has been used as an eyewash for sore eyes. A decoction of the plant has been used to treat the coughing up of blood. A decoction of the root has been used to treat liver complaints.

Other Uses:
Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. They are somewhat slow to settle down though, and only form a good cover when they are growing luxuriantly.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrola_asarifolia
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/pink-pyrola
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pyrola+asarifolia

Advertisements

Vinca minor

Botanical Name: Vinca minor
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Vinca
Species: V. minor
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Pervinca heterophyla. Pervinca minor. Pervinca procumbens. Vinca acutiflora . Vinca ellipticifolia.

Common Names: Lesser Periwinkle, Flower of Death, English Holly, Creeping Myrtle, Creeping Vinca, Common Periwink, Lesser periwinkle or Dwarf periwinkle

Other vernacular names: Small periwinkle, and Sometimes in the United States, Myrtle or Creeping myrtle

Habitat :Vinca minor is native to central and southern Europe, from Portugal and France north to the Netherlands and the Baltic States, east to the Caucasus, and also southwestern Asia in Turkey. It grows in fields, woodland edges, copses and hedgerows. Ash and oak-hornbeam woods on better soils in central Europe
Description:
Vinca minor is a trailing, viny subshrub, spreading along the ground and rooting along the stems to form large clonal colonies and occasionally scrambling up to 40 centimetres (16 in) high but never twining or climbing. The leaves are evergreen, opposite, 2–4.5 centimetres (0.79–1.77 in) long and 1–2.5 centimetres (0.39–0.98 in) broad, glossy dark green with a leathery texture and an entire margin….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are solitary in the leaf axils and are produced mainly from early spring to mid summer but with a few flowers still produced into the autumn; they are violet-purple (pale purple or white in some cultivated selections), 2–3 centimetres (0.79–1.18 in) diameter, with a five-lobed corolla. The flowers of the garden periwinkle are the inspiration of the lavender blue color name periwinkle, and this viny shrub is a popular and attractive ground cover with numerous cultivars,flower colours and variegated foliage.

The closely related species Vinca major is similar, but larger in all parts, and also has relatively broader leaves with a hairy margin.
The color name periwinkle is derived from the flower.

Cultivation:
Vinca minor  is  a very easily grown plant, it succeeds in almost any soil but prefers those that are on the richer side. It grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant but they do not flower so well in deep shade. It grows well under deciduous trees, and in such a position it can succeed in dry soils. Established plants are drought tolerant. A very ornamental and polymorphic plant, there are some named forms selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. This species rarely if ever sets seed in Britain. It spreads rapidly by long trailing and rooting stems once it is established and will swamp out smaller plants. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if possible. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring just before active growth commences, or in autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, 5 – 10 cm long, October in a cold frame. Roots quickly. High percentage

Chemical constituents:
Vinca minor contains more than 50 alkaloids, and vincamine is the molecule responsible for Vinca’s nootropic activity. Other alkaloids include reserpine, reserpinine, akuammicine, majdine, vinerine, ervine, vineridine, tombozine, vincamajine, vincanine, vincanidine, vincamone, apovincamine, vincaminol, desoxyvincaminol, vincorine and perivincine.

Vinpocetine (brand names: Cavinton, Intelectol; chemical name: ethyl apovincaminate) is a semisynthetic derivative alkaloid of vincamine.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Astringent; Bitter; Detergent; Homeopathy; Hypotensive; Sedative; Stomachic; Tonic.

The plant is sedative and tonic. It contains the alkaloid ‘vincamine’, which is used by the pharmaceutical industry as a cerebral stimulant and vasodilator. Since the discovery of vincamine in the leaves, the plant has been used herbally to treat arteriosclerosis and for dementia due to insufficient blood supply to the brain. The leaves are bitter, detergent and stomachic. Taken internally, they are used in the treatment of internal bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding and nosebleeds. When crushed and applied to wounds they have astringent and healing properties. A mouthwash is used to treat gingivitis, sore throats and mouth ulcers. The leaves are gathered in the spring and dried for later use. The root is antispasmodic and hypotensive. It is used to lower the blood pressure. The root is gathered in the autumn and dried for later use. The fresh flowers are gently purgative, but lose their effect on drying. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh leaves. It is used in the treatment of haemorrhages.

This plant is an excellent all round astringent which can be used internally or externally.  Its most common internal use is for treating excess menstrual flow.  It is useful as a douche for treating vaginal infection.  It is used for digestive problems such as inflammation of the colon or diarrhea.  The astringent action is also used in cases of nose bleed, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and as a gargle for sore throats. Chewing the plant relieves toothache.  The tea is sedative and is beneficial for hysteria, fits, and nervous states.  Use two teaspoons per cup, steep for 20 minutes, and take a quarter-cup doses four times a day.  Make a poultice of the herb to relieve cramps in the limbs. The leaves are used in slaves for hemorrhoids and inflammations.  Use the tea as a gargle for sore throat and tonsillitis.  The fresh flowers are made into a syrup laxative, which is excellent for small children as well as adults.  To make a syrup, boil three pounds of Sucanat in one pint of water until you get a syrup consistency, and then steep the herbs in the hot liquid for 20 minutes, or simmer the herbs in honey or maple syrup for about 10 minutes, strain, and store in the refrigerator.  It combines well with Agrimony for astringent action to treat the digestive system and skin conditions.

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Erosion control, Ground cover, Massing, Specimen.  The stems are used in basket making. A very good ground cover for covering steep banks and shady places, spreading rapidly once established and forming a dense cover within 2 years. It is less dense on dry or exposed sites. Plants are best spaced about 60cm apart each way.

Social beliefs: Venus owns this herb, and saith, That the leaves eaten by man and wife together, cause love between them. The Periwinkle is a great binder, stays bleeding both at mouth and nose, if some of the leaves be chewed. The French used it to stay women’s courses. Dioscorides, Galen, and Agineta, commend it against the lasks and fluxes of the belly to be drank in wine.
Known Hazards: Large quantities of the plant are poisonous

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinca_minor
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail492.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vinca+minor

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

Apocynum androsaemifolium

Botanical Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Apocynum
Species: A. androsaemifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Milkweed. Dogsbane. Fly-Trap.
Common Names: Fly-trap dogbane, Spreading dogbane,Bitter Root

Habitat: Apocynum androsaemifolium is native to North America.It grows in   open woodland, woodland edges etc, usually on drier soils
Description:
The genus Apocynum contains only four species, two of which Apocynum androsaemifolium and A. cannabinum, or Black Indian Hemp, resemble each other very closely, the roots being distinguished by the thick-walled stone cells, which in the former are found in an interrupted circle near the middle of the bark, and in the latter are absent.
A. a. ndrosaemifolium is a perennial herb, 5 or 6 feet in height, branching, and, in common with the other three members of the genus, yielding on incision a milky juice resembling indiarubber when dry.

The leaves are dark green above, paler and downy beneath, ovate, and from 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers are white, tinged with red, having five scales in the throat of the corolla which secrete a sweet liquid, attractive to flies. These scales are very sensitive, and when touched bend inward, imprisoning the insects…..click & see the pictures

The milky root is found in commerce in cylindrical, branched pieces, about a quarter of an inch thick, reddish or greyish brown outside, longitudinally wrinkled, and having a short fracture and small pith. There is scarcely any odour, and the taste is starchy, afterwards bitter and acrid.

Subspecies and varieties:
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. androsaemifolium – E Canada, W United States
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. griseum (Greene) Bég. & Belosersky – Ontario, British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. incanum A.DC. – widespread in Canada, United States, NE Mexico
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. intermedium Woodson – Colorado
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. pumilum (A.Gray) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. tomentellum (Greene) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. woodsonii B.Boivin – Alberta, British Columbia, Washington State, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho

Parts Used for medicine: The dried rhizome, roots.

Constituents: The nature of the active principle is uncertain. A glucoside, Apocynamarin, was separated, but the activity is thought to be due not to the glucoside, but to an intensely bitter principle, Cymarin.
Medicinal Uses:
Apocynum androsaemifolium   is an unpleasantly bitter stimulant irritant herb that acts on the heart, respiratory and urinary systems, and also on the uterus. It was widely employed by the native North American Indians who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints including headaches, convulsions, earache, heart palpitations, colds, insanity and dizziness. It should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner if taking this plant internally. The root contains cymarin, a cardioactive glycoside that is toxic to ruminants. The root is cardiotonic, cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant. It has a powerful action in slowing the pulse and also has a very strong action on the vaso-motor system, it is rather an irritant to the mucous membranes though, so some people cannot tolerate it. The juice of the fresh root has been used in the treatment of syphilis. The sap of the plant has been applied externally to get rid of warts. The roots were boiled in water and the water drunk once a week in order to prevent conception. The green fruits were boiled and the decoction used in the treatment of heart and kidney problems and for the treatment of dropsy. This preparation can irritate the intestines and cause unpleasant side-effects. It is used as an alterative in rheumatism, syphilis and scrofula.

Other  Uses:The bark yields a good quality fibre that is used for making twine, bags, linen etc. It is inferior to A. cannabinum. The fibre is finer and stronger than cotton. It can be harvested after the leaves fall in the autumn but is probably at its best as the seed pods are forming. The plant yields a latex, which is a possible source of rubber. It is obtained by making incisions on the stem and resembles indiarubber when dry.

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, due to the cardiac glycosides it contains.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocynum_androsaemifolium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bitroo47.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Apocynum+androsaemifolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Sunflower

Botanical Name ; Helianthus annuus
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Helianthoideae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Helianthus
Species: annuus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiospermae
Subdivision: Eudicots
Class: Asterids
Order: Asterales

Common Name : Sunflower,Common Sunflower

Habitat :Sunflower is native to the Americas that possesses a large inflorescence (flowering head). It grows in open dry or moderately moist soils on the plains.

Dscription:

Helianthus annuus is a annual flowering plant growing to 3 m (9ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is not self-fertile.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers. The heads consist of 1,000-2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base.

click to see the pictures…>....(01)..…...(1).…...(2).…....(3)..(4).…...(5)..

What is usually called the “flower” on a mature sunflower is actually a “flower head” (also known as a “composite flower“) of numerous florets, (small flowers) crowded together. The outer petal-bearing florets are the sterile ray florets and can be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds.

The flower petals within the sunflower’s cluster are usually in a a spiral pattern. Generally, each floret is oriented toward the next by approximately the golden angle, 137.5°, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; on a very large sunflower there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other. This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds within the flower head.

Cultivation:
To grow best, sunflowers need full sun. They grow best in fertile, moist, well-drained soil with heavy mulch. In commercial planting, seeds are planted 45 cm (1.5 ft) apart and 2.5 cm (1 in) deep. Sunflower “whole seed” (fruit) are sold as a snack food, raw or after roasting in ovens, with or without salt and/or seasonings added. Sunflowers can be processed into a peanut butter alternative, sunflower butter. In Germany, it is mixed with rye flour to make Sonnenblumenkernbrot (literally: sunflower whole seed bread), which is quite popular in German-speaking Europe. It is also sold as food for birds and can be used directly in cooking and salads. American Indians had multiple uses for sunflowers in the past,such as in bread, medical ointments, dyes and body paints

Propagation :
Seed – sow in mid spring in situ. An earlier start can be made by sowing 2 – 3 seeds per pot in a greenhouse in early spring. Use a fairly rich compost. Thin to the strongest seedling, give them an occasional liquid feed to make sure they do not become nutrient deficient and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Seed, harvested at 12% moisture content and stored, will retain its viability for several years
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Oil; Seed; Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Oil.

Seed – raw or cooked. A delicious nut-like flavour, but very fiddly to extract due to the small size of the seed. Commercially there are machines designed to do this. Rich in fats, the seed can be ground into a powder, made into sunflower butter or used to make seed yoghurt. When mixed with cereal flours, it makes a nutritious bread. Cultivars with up to 50% oil have been developed in Russia. The oil contains between 44 – 72% linoleic acid. The germinated seed is said to be best for seed yoghurt, it is blended with water and left to ferment. The sprouted seed can be eaten raw. A nutritional analysis of the seed is available. Young flower buds – steamed and served like globe artichokes. A mild and pleasant enough flavour, but rather fiddly. Average yields range from 900 – 1,575 kg/ha of seed, however yields of over 3,375 kg/ha have been reported. A high quality edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is low in cholesterol, and is said to be equal in quality to olive oil. Used in salads, margarines, or in cooking. The roasted seed is a coffee and drinking chocolate substitute. Another report says the roasted hulls are used. The leaf petioles are boiled and mixed in with other foodstuffs……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Fresh weight)

* 560 Calories per 100g
* Water : 4.8%
* Protein: 24g; Fat: 47.3g; Carbohydrate: 19.4g; Fibre: 3.8g; Ash: 4g;
* Minerals – Calcium: 120mg; Phosphorus: 837mg; Iron: 7.1mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 30mg; Potassium: 920mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 30mg; Thiamine (B1): 1.96mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.23mg; Niacin: 5.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:    A tea made from the leaves is astringent, diuretic and expectorant, it is used in the treatment of high fevers. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice on sores, swellings, snakebites and spider bites. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of malaria and lung ailments. The flowering head and seeds are febrifuge, nutritive and stomachic. The seed is also considered to be diuretic and expectorant. It has been used with success in the treatment of many pulmonary complaints. A decoction of the roots has been used as a warm wash on rheumatic aches and pains.

Russian folk healers chop the head of a sunflower, soak the pieces in vodka and soap chips in a sunny place for nine days, and then rub the mixture on the joints of rheumatic patients as a potent liniment.  In medical clinics, Russian doctors prepare decoctions of the seeds for jaundice, malaria, heart conditions, diarrhea, and other ailments.  The seeds, browned in the oven, and made into an infusion, make a widely used remedy for whooping cough.

Other Uses:
Sunflower oil, extracted from the seeds, is used for cooking, as a carrier oil and to produce margarine and biodiesel, as it is cheaper than olive oil. A range of sunflower varieties exist with differing fatty acid compositions; some ‘high oleic’ types contain a higher level of monounsaturated fats in their oil than even olive oil.

The cake remaining after the seeds have been processed for oil is used as a livestock feed. Some recently developed cultivars have drooping heads. These cultivars are less attractive to gardeners growing the flowers as ornamental plants, but appeal to farmers, because they reduce bird damage and losses from some plant diseases. Sunflowers also produce latex, and are the subject of experiments to improve their suitability as an alternative crop for producing hypoallergenic rubber.

Traditionally, several Native American groups planted sunflowers on the north edges of their gardens as a “fourth sister” to the better known three sisters combination of corn, beans, and squash. Annual species are often planted for their allelopathic properties.[citation needed]

However, for commercial farmers growing commodity crops, the sunflower, like any other unwanted plant, is often considered a weed. Especially in the midwestern US, wild (perennial) species are often found in corn and soybean fields and can have a negative impact on yields.

Sunflowers can be used to extract toxic ingredients from soil, such as lead, arsenic and uranium. They were used to remove cesium-137 and strontium-90 from a nearby pond after the Chernobyl disaster, and a similar campaign was mounted in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Known Hazards : The growing plant can accumulate nitrates, especially when fed on artificial fertilizers. The pollen or plant extracts may cause allergic reactions

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+annuus

Brain aneurysm

Definition:
Brain aneurysm is a cerebrovascular disorder in which weakness in the wall of a cerebral artery or vein causes a localized dilation or ballooning of the blood vessel.Brain aneurysms are like tiny blisters or balloons on the surface of the arteries running through the brain. The outer wall of the vessel has a weakness, and the inner lining (like the inner tube of a tyre) bulges out. In 15 per cent of cases there are multiple aneurysms on different arteries around the brain.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

A common location of brain aneurysms is on the arteries at the base of the brain, known as the Circle of Willis. Approximately 85% of cerebral aneurysms develop in the anterior part of the Circle of Willis, and involve the internal carotid arteries and their major branches that supply the anterior and middle sections of the brain. The most common sites include the anterior cerebral artery and anterior communicating artery (30-35%), the bifurcation, division of two branches, of the internal carotid and posterior communicating artery (30-35%), the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery (20%), the bifurcation of the basilar artery, and the remaining posterior circulation arteries (5%).

The main worry with an aneurysm is that it will burst under the pressure of blood pulsing through the artery, causing a brain haemorrhage, which may be fatal.

Each year, many thousands of people around the world, often young or middle-aged, die or are left disabled because of brain aneurysms.

Symptoms:
Most brain aneurysms cause no symptoms and may only be discovered during tests for another, usually unrelated, condition. In other cases, an unruptured aneurysm will cause problems by pressing on areas within the brain. When this happens, the person may suffer from severe headaches, blurred vision, changes in speech, and neck pain, depending on the areas of the brain that are affected and the severity of the aneurysm.

Onset is usually sudden and without warning. Rupture of a cerebral aneurysm is dangerous and usually results in bleeding into the meninges or the brain itself, leading to a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) or intracranial hematoma (ICH), either of which constitutes a stroke. Rebleeding, hydrocephalus (the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid), vasospasm (spasm, or narrowing, of the blood vessels), or multiple aneurysms may also occur. The risk of rupture from an unruptured cerebral aneurysm varies according to the size of an aneurysm, with the risk rising as the aneurysm size increases. The overall rate of aneurysm rupture is estimated at 1.3% per year, resulting in approximately 27,000 new cases of SAH in the United States per year. Screening for aneurysms with annual imaging is possible, but not viewed as cost effective. The risk of short term re-rupture decreases dramatically after an aneurysm has bled in about 3 days, though after approximately 6 weeks the risk returns to baseline.

Symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm often when come on suddenly. They may include:

*Sudden, severe headache (sometimes described as a “thunderclap” headache that is very different from any normal headache).
*Neck pain.
*Nausea and vomiting.
*Sensitivity to light.
*Fainting or loss of consciousness.
*Seizures.

If a brain aneurysm presses on nerves in your brain, it can cause signs and symptoms. These can include:

*A droopy eyelid
*Double vision or other changes in vision
*Pain above or behind the eye
*A dilated pupil
*Numbness or weakness on one side of the face or body

Causes:
Aneurysms may result from congenital defects, preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries), or head trauma. Cerebral aneurysms occur more commonly in adults than in children but they may occur at any age.

A person may inherit the tendency to form aneurysms, or aneurysms may develop because of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and aging. Some risk factors that can lead to brain aneurysms can be controlled, and others can’t. The following risk factors may increase your risk of developing an aneurysm or, if you already have an aneurysm, may increase your risk of it rupturing:1

*Family history. People who have a family history of brain aneurysms are twice as likely to have an aneurysm as those who don’t.

*Previous aneurysm. About 20% of patients with brain aneurysms have more than one.

*Gender. Women are twice as likely to develop a brain aneurysm or to suffer a subarachnoid hemorrhage as men.

*Race. African Americans have twice as many subarachnoid hemorrhages as whites.

*Hypertension. The risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage is greater in people with a history of high blood pressure (hypertension).

*Smoking. In addition to being a cause of hypertension, the use of cigarettes may greatly increase the chances of a brain aneurysm rupturing.

Diagnosis:
Because unruptured brain aneurysms often do not cause any symptoms, many are discovered in people who are being treated for a different condition.

 

 

These images show exactly how blood flows into the brain arteries.

If your health professional believes you have a brain aneurysm, you may have the following tests:

*Computed tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan can help identify bleeding in the brain.

*Computed tomography angiogram (CTA) scan. CTA is a more precise method of evaluating blood vessels than a standard CT scan. CTA uses a combination of CT scanning, special computer techniques, and contrast material (dye) injected into the blood to produce images of blood vessels.

*Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Similar to a CTA, MRA uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of blood vessels inside the body. As with CTA and cerebral angiography, a dye is often used during MRA to make blood vessels show up more clearly.

*Cerebral angiogram. During this X-ray test, a catheter is inserted through a blood vessel in the groin or arm and moved up through the vessel into the brain. A dye is then injected into the cerebral artery. As with the above tests, the dye allows any problems in the artery, including aneurysms, to be seen on the X-ray. Although this test is more invasive and carries more risk than the above tests, it is the best way to locate small (less than 5 mm) brain aneurysms.

Sometimes a lumbar puncture may be used if your health professional suspects that you have a ruptured cerebral aneurysm with a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Treatment:
Emergency treatment for individuals with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm generally includes restoring deteriorating respiration and reducing intracranial pressure. Currently there are three treatment options for brain aneurysms: medical hypotensive therapy; surgical clipping or endovascular coiling. If possible, either surgical clipping or endovascular coiling is usually performed within the first 24 hours after bleeding to occlude the ruptured aneurysm and reduce the risk of rebleeding.

..

Medical Hypotensive Therapy:
Medical—hypotensive therapy for ruptured intracranial aneurysms was introduced by Paul Slosberg MD (1926 – ; currently in practice) at the Mount Sinai Hospital in 1956 and was shown superior to surgery and other treatments in the largest randomized controlled study (multinational—15 institutions) ever conducted. This was reported in the major neurologic journal Stroke years ago but was underpublicized. More recently, with modifications for unruptured brain aneurysms and review of 50 years’ results it has again been found superior to surgical and now also to endovascular treatment. The method has the extreme cost-benefit advantage of completely eliminating the need for hospitalization itself, thereby eliminating surgical costs, endovascular costs, operating room costs and recovery room costs. In addition, it enables patients to completely avoid life-threatening nosocomial i.e. hospital-based, infections especially the frequently fatal MRSA infections along with other fatal hospital-based infections now being reported. This entirely medical treatment is performed by the neurologist both early and in long-term follow-up, in a private office or outpatient hospital facility. Aneurysms have been treated successfully regardless of size(e.g. giant aneurysms are included), location, complicating medical illnesses etc. These long term clinical results are buttressed by long-term MRA and CTA radiographic results showing that instead of the expected increase in size, the aneurysms either remain the same size, decrease in size or are no longer even visualized. This entirely medical method has now been endorsed by least two aneurysm surgical groups in England, as reported in both the Journal of Neurosurgery and Lancet Neurology.

Surgical clipping:..
Surgical clipping was introduced by Walter Dandy of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1937. It consists of performing a craniotomy, exposing the aneurysm, and closing the base of the aneurysm with a clip chosen specifically for the site. The surgical technique has been modified and improved over the years. Surgical clipping has a lower rate of aneurysm recurrence after treatment.

In January 2009, a team of doctors at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina pioneered a new approach for aneurysm treatment – clipping aneurysms through an endoscopic endonasal approach. The team was led by UNC neurosurgeon, Dr. Anand Germanwala. This procedure may be groundbreaking for patients with aneurysms near the skull base, as an approach through the nose is less invasive than traditional approaches. Two videos related to this procedure can be seen on the UNC Neurosurgery website: http://www.med.unc.edu/neurosurgery/news/germanwala-presents-first-aneurysm-patient-treated-through-nose and http://www.med.unc.edu/neurosurgery/news/video-it-takes-two-or-more.

Endovascular coiling:.……
Endovascular coiling was introduced by Guido Guglielmi at UCLA in 1991. It consists of passing a catheter into the femoral artery in the groin, through the aorta, into the brain arteries, and finally into the aneurysm itself. Once the catheter is in the aneurysm, platinum coils are pushed into the aneurysm and released. These coils initiate a clotting or thrombotic reaction within the aneurysm that, if successful, will eliminate the aneurysm. These procedures require a small incision, through which a catheter is inserted. In the case of broad-based aneurysms, a stent may be passed first into the parent artery to serve as a scaffold for the coils (“stent-assisted coiling”), although the long-term studies of patients with intracranial stents have not yet been done.

Benefits & Risk:-
At this point it appears that the risks associated with surgical clipping and endovascular coiling, in terms of stroke or death from the procedure, are the same. The ISAT trials have shown, however, that patients who have experienced aneurysmal rupture have a 7% lower mortality rate when treated by coiling than patients treated by clipping, when all other factors are equal. Coiled aneurysms, however, do have a higher recurrence rate as demonstrated by angiography. For instance, the 2007 study by Jacques Moret and colleagues from Paris, France, (a group with one of the largest experiences in endovascular coiling) indicates that 28.6% of aneurysms recurred within one year of coiling, and that the recurrence rate increased with time. These results are similar to those previously reported by other endovascular groups. For instance Jean Raymond and colleagues from Montreal, Canada, (another group with a large experience in endovascular coiling) reported that 33.6% of aneurysms recurred within one year of coiling. The most recent data from Moret’s group reveals even higher aneurysm recurrence rates, namely a 36.5% recurrence rate at 9 months (which breaks down as 31.1% for small aneurysms less than 10 mm, and 56.0% for aneurysms 10 mm or larger). However, no studies to date have shown that the higher angiographic recurrence rate equals a higher rate of rebleeding. Thus far, the ISAT trials listed above show no increase in the rate of rebleeding, and show a persistent 7% lower mortality rate in subarachnoid hemorrhage patients who have been treated with coiling. In ISAT, the need for late retreatment of aneurysms was 6.9 times more likely for endovascular coiling as compared to surgical clipping. Furthermore, data from the ISAT group in March 2008 indicates that the higher aneurysm rate of recurrence is associated with a higher rebleeding rate, given that the rebleed rate of coiled aneurysms appears to be 8 times higher than that of surgically treated aneurysms in the ISAT study.

Therefore it appears that although endovascular coiling is associated with a shorter recovery period as compared to surgical clipping, it is also associated with a significantly higher recurrence rate after treatment. The long-term data for unruptured aneurysms are still being gathered.

Patients who undergo endovascular coiling need to have several serial studies (such as MRI/MRA, CTA, or angiography) to detect early recurrences. If a recurrence is identified, the aneurysm may need to be retreated with either surgery or further coiling. The risks associated with surgical clipping of previously-coiled aneurysms are very high. Ultimately, the decision to treat with surgical clipping versus endovascular coiling should be made by a cerebrovascular team with extensive experience in both modalities.

Prognosis:
The prognosis for a patient with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm depends on the extent and location of the aneurysm, the person’s age, general health, and neurological condition. Some individuals with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm die from the initial bleeding. Other individuals with cerebral aneurysm recover with little or no neurological deficit. The most significant factors in determining outcome are grade (see Hunt and Hess grade above) and age. Generally patients with Hunt and Hess grade I and II hemorrhage on admission to the emergency room and patients who are younger within the typical age range of vulnerability can anticipate a good outcome, without death or permanent disability. Older patients and those with poorer Hunt and Hess grades on admission have a poor prognosis. Generally, about two thirds of patients have a poor outcome, death, or permanent disability.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/brain-aneurysm-topic-overview
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/brainaneurysm.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_aneurysm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/brainaneurysm.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/17031.htm

http://www.yalemedicalgroup.org/stw/Page.asp?PageID=STW029076