Brain aneurysms are more common than you might think, but more awareness can help save lives.

A illustration of a red ribbon like those in support of Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month.Share on Pinterest
Illustration by Wenzdai Figueroa

Brain aneurysms are health events that can potentially cause widespread damage in more extreme cases. This is a condition where the blood vessel walls begin to weaken in the brain. Over time, a bulge forms on the blood vessel, which can grow in size. If it ruptures, the leaked blood can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.

However, brain aneurysms are more common than you might think, and most of them don’t progress to become damaging.

What makes them dangerous is that usually there are no symptoms. In many cases, people don’t learn that they have a brain aneurysm until they seek treatment for a different condition, and the bulges are detected during diagnostics like MRIs or CT scans.

Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month is working to change that.

Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month occurs every September. As with other health awareness campaigns, the goal is to educate the public on the condition. Not only do people need to know what an aneurysm is, but understand why it can be dangerous in certain situations.

About 3.2% of the world’s population will experience a brain aneurysm at some point in their life.

Because brain aneurysms often don’t have any warning signs, taking preventive measures to check for them is critical. If found early, treatment can be provided that helps to shrink the aneurysm and prevent it from leaking.

And some populations may be more likely to develop brain aneurysms.

Is there a ribbon for brain aneurysm awareness?

The ribbon for Brain Aneurysm Awareness is burgundy or sometimes red. It’s a fitting color considering that brain aneurysms involve the circulatory system.

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Education is one of the most important tools to ensure that people are not only aware of what a brain aneurysm is but what steps they can take to prevent one from becoming dangerous. Helping educate on who is most at risk is an important step in awareness.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), although brain aneurysms can occur at any age, they’re more prevalent between the ages of 30 and 60. Additionally, females are more likely to get them, as are individuals with specific inherited disorders such as:

You can work with your employer or community groups to stage events in September to not only raise awareness for who is at risk but also to raise funds for research.

Donating to trusted organizations such as the Brain Aneurysm Foundation or The Bee Foundation can help. This helps fund critical research that can potentially create more effective treatments or preventive measures to reduce the mortality rate associated with brain aneurysms.

Additionally, sharing information through social networks and urging those at risk to get screened is equally important.

How common are brain aneurysms?

According to The Bee Foundation, a nonprofit focused on brain aneurysm prevention, nearly 6 million Americans will have a brain aneurysm every year. Meanwhile, roughly 30,000 people will experience one that ruptures. For those with ruptures, 40% will result in fatalities.

Although life threatening brain aneurysms aren’t as common, some lifestyle habits can increase a person’s risk of developing them. In particular, uncontrolled hypertension, smoking, and illicit drug use are known contributing factors.

Additionally, being over age 40 can also heighten a person’s chances of developing a brain aneurysm. Sometimes other medical events like experiencing head trauma, having a brain tumor, or even an arterial wall infection (known as a mycotic aneurysm) can also be a risk.

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The Bee Foundation and the Brain Aneurysm Foundation are two official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that work diligently to spread awareness across the United States. They also work with the medical community and policymakers to push for better access to preventive care and treatment solutions for brain aneurysms.

Both organizations accept donations and also encourage individuals to launch local fundraisers that not only generate money but increase educational access in communities. Likewise, each organization provides tools to help individuals launch local events and contact policymakers to push for change.

Additionally, The Bee Foundation offers information to help businesses launch corporate matching initiatives to encourage giving.

If you’d like to get involved in the research itself, you can check out to see what studies are currently looking for participants. If you have a close family history of aneurysms, your participation could be especially helpful.

Brain aneurysms are more common than most people think, with 1 in 50 individuals likely to experience one in the United States. However, most are harmless.

Still, if an aneurysm ruptures, then a stroke, physical disability, and even death could all be a potential outcome. Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month aims to educate the public on the importance of preventive screenings as well as boost fundraising to support critical research initiatives.

On a local level, you can aid in supporting those fundraising efforts and educate people in your community to take a proactive stance to protect themselves against the risks that brain aneurysms pose.