Intracerebral hemorrhage is simply bleeding inside the brain that is usually due to chronic high blood pressure. The initial symptom is an intense headache. The older adults particularly 60 and above are at risk for intracerebral hemorrhage.
Intracerebral hemorrhage typically occurs if chronic high blood pressure causes the weakening of a small artery, thus causing it to burst. The use of cocaine or amphetamines can result to a brief but very high blood pressure and hemorrhage. In some elderly, an abnormal protein known as amyloid builds up in the brain arteries. The build-up weakens the arteries and can lead to hemorrhage.
The uncommon causes include abnormalities with the blood vessels present at birth, tumors, injuries, bleeding disorders, blood vessel inflammation and using high doses of anticoagulants. The bleeding conditions and anticoagulant use can increase the risk of death from intracerebral hemorrhage.
What are the indications of intracerebral hemorrhage?
Intracerebral hemorrhage starts abruptly. In almost half of cases, it starts with an intense headache usually during activity. Nevertheless, among the elderly, the headache can be minor or even absent.
The symptoms that indicate brain dysfunction develops and progressively worsens as the hemorrhage expands. Some of the symptoms such as paralysis, weakness, numbness and sensation loss often affect only one side of the body. An individual might not be able to speak or become confused. The vision might be impaired or lost.
Take note that one or both eyes could not move in certain directions. As a consequence, the eyes might point in different directions. The pupils can even appear unusually small or large. Vomiting, nausea, seizures and loss of consciousness are also common and might occur within seconds to minutes.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is likely to be deadly than an ischemic stroke. It is important to note that the hemorrhage is often significant and catastrophic particularly among those who have high blood pressure.
Almost half of individuals who have significant hemorrhage die within a few days. Those who were able to survive can recover consciousness and some brain function over time. Nevertheless, most do not recover all the lost brain function.