Brain Aneurysm Support Community

No headaches before brain anuerysm/rupture?

Hello all!

My mother went through a brain aneurysm rupture in November of 2015. She was comatose for about a month but is now recovering wonderfully, basically lost a big chunk of her vision but overall we are extremely happy with her recovery. My mother doesn't experience most symptoms or recovery effects that most do, her personality is coming back to normal more and more and she is able to stay awake as long as she needs to now, but definitely needs a day of sleep for recovery on Sundays if she has too much activity during the week.
She was recently diagnosed with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease, which is why she had the anuerysm. This is an aggressive genetic disease in which, if only one parent has it, there is a 50% chance of passing it on to their offspring. ADPKD has the following effects: growth of innumerable cysts over the lifetime of the patient that are basically asymptomatic until the patient is end/late stage kidney disease, high probability of aneurysm and rupture in head, and heart valve and liver failure. My mom already had and survived the aneurysm rupture, so we are happy about that, but we are now dealing, out of nowhere, with stage 4 kidney disease.

I am yet unsure if I have this genetic disorder, I have contacted my doctor and hope to hear back from her, I am dreading all of the red tape I will have to get through to get any sort of analysis that will determine if I have this. I am not too worried, with brain aneurysms, as long as I check myself and it doesn't rupture, I'll be happy. But I really want to be able to donate one of my kidneys to my mother, and I will not be able to if I also have this disorder.

The reason I am here is to ask, did anyone not experience any headaches throughout their lifetime and ended up having an aneurysm/rupture? I ask this because, in my short 24 year life, I have never once experienced a headache, and so I am hopeful that this is a good sign. I have had lots of stress even before my mother's rupture, more stress than most people will have at least by the time they are 24, and I have yet to experience a headache. I bet this is unrelated, but I am hoping.

Sorry for the long post, essentially I am hoping to get the bolded question answered. Thank you so much and God bless all, specially those who are going through this right this moment and their families.

  • Don't wait for headaches: Wikipedia says "there may be no symptoms present at all until the aneurysm ruptures."
  • When a person gets the headacehe they know its already heammoraged ! when mine went I had terrible headaches for two days but they were not like any headaches I'd ever had before.
    So wondering if ordinary headches are symptoms of aneurisms is erronious.

For a RUPTURED aneurysm, symptoms include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Neck pain and/or stiffness
  • Pain above and/or behind the eyes

I had occasional headaches usually from lack of sleep or not eating and worked in a very stressful job. So although I did have “the worst headache” it was when I ruptured. My Neurosurgern advised me to call all my nieces and nephews I agree with goldenaer, don’t wait for a headache. Let your doctor know, even if it’s your PCP

Thanks for the responses!

I had an MRA done this past week and, good news, no aneurysm, bad news, many large cysts in my head that they don't have much experience or knowledge of.

No symptoms so far. We'll see. At least I'll continue to get checked for aneurysms give that they have to monitor the cysts.

Thanks again!


Leonardo good and not so good news. I didn’t even know the brain could develop cysts. Keep your spirits up find a doc about the cysts

Hello. Prior to my rupture I almost never had any headaches. Even the day it happened I did not have one. When it did rupture it was a special one! Hope your mom is recovering well.

All the best. Mark

Thanks for your input Mark!

I wish I could say I had warning signs. I had occasional “stress” headaches (or possibly related to my blood pressure being elevated). I dont know for sure because I never felt they were significant enough to get them checked out. When my aneurysm ruptured the headache came out of nowwhere and was literally the “mother of all headaches”. Now when someone asks if I have a headache I just laugh because nothing compares. Due to the kidney diagnosis you will get screened well. That is good. If you have one you can have it taken care of perhaps before it ruptures. Thoughts and prayers for you and your mother.

I too had not experienced any headaches, I also have PKD. I am 54…my anurysim was found in 2014. When I had a seizure out of nowhere. It is small behindy right eye. I had I clipped on 9/8/17. As a precaution to prevent it from rupturing. I am hoping to return to work in December. Good luck to you.i has been quite a journey

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Thanks for the response and for sharing your experience! My mother is well (regarding her aneurysm), we are just now waiting and beginning the process of being on a kidney transplant list/waiting for a donor (I cannot donate since I have the same condition).
For my mother, she has not really had any headaches since her aneurysm, which makes me happy, otherwise I feel like we would be having little scares every time she had a headache (she does not remember the aneurysm rupture, to her, she went on a two month vacation, to us, it was the worst time of our lives!).

Hi @Paulamarie,

Could you share a bit more of your experience with PKD? In a private message if you would like is fine as well. I’m just curious at what age you experienced renal failure if at all yet. I am 26 and have PKD, everything seems fine so far. My mother, living a life with a poor diet and somewhat uncontrolled blood pressure (had a hard time controlling due to undiagnosed PKD) is now 46 and is began having symptomatic renal failure just a year ago, I am hoping that if I take care of myself I can last to at least another 20 years before needing a kidney.
Also, do you have any children? Do they have PKD?
My wife and I are saving up money to go through IVF to avoid having PKD children, I’ve found that I have a lot of those little medical conditions that only hits 1 in 1 million - I don’t like my odds with 1 in 2 for PKD haha.
Again, if this is too personal and might feel more comfortable sharing through a direct message that would be great as well.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

My ruptured brain aneurism came as a complete surprise , no headache but all of a sudden I felt as if the back of my head exploded. Thank God my husband was home , ambulance came Emergency room determined it was a rupture.I was tranferrd to another hospital where they coiled and then placed a stent in my brain. Three weeks in ICU a lot of physical and emotional therapy but I am doing much better after almost four years. It could have been a lot worse and I remind myself of that each day. My memory is not so good and I have constant pain in my legs and buttocks. I hope your Mom improves , prayers and positive thoughts are being sent.

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That’s wonderful to hear @Marilyn_DiNatale - my mother had a similar experience, my father was there and was able to act quickly. She was also taken to the emergency room and transported to a better hospital at my request, and we are blessed to have her here. She had a really rough/complicated time right after the rupture, but her recovery was amazing. She was comatose for almost a month and her movement and strength is not perfect still, but everything else is great aside from her vision which was permanently damaged during the actual rupture (she basically can see out of half of one eye and not at all from the other).
I am happy to hear that 4 years later you are still making progress. Continue to work hard to improve!

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