Skip to content

    Brain & Nervous System Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Brain Hemorrhage: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

    A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke. It's caused by an artery in the brain bursting and causing localized bleeding in the surrounding tissues. This bleeding kills brain cells.

    The Greek root for blood is hemo. Hemorrhage literally means "blood bursting forth." Brain hemorrhages are also called cerebral hemorrhages, intracranial hemorrhages, or intracerebral hemorrhages. They account for about 13% of strokes.

    Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

    Meningitis

    Important It is possible that the main title of the report Meningitis is not the name you expected.

    Read the Meningitis article > >

    What Happens During a Brain Hemorrhage?

    When blood from trauma irritates brain tissues, it causes swelling. This is known as cerebral edema. The pooled blood collects into a mass called a hematoma. These conditions increase pressure on nearby brain tissue, and that reduces vital blood flow and kills brain cells.

    Bleeding can occur inside the brain, between the brain and the membranes that cover it, between the layers of the brain's covering or between the skull and the covering of the brain.

    What Causes Bleeding in the Brain?

    There are several risk factors and causes of brain hemorrhages. The most common include:

    • Head trauma . Injury is the most common cause of bleeding in the brain for those younger than age 50.
    • High blood pressure . This chronic condition can, over a long period of time, weaken blood vessel walls. Untreated high blood pressure is a major preventable cause of brain hemorrhages.
    • Aneurysm . This is a weakening in a blood vessel wall that swells. It can burst and bleed into the brain, leading to a stroke.
    • Blood vessel abnormalities. (Arteriovenous malformations) Weaknesses in the blood vessels in and around the brain may be present at birth and diagnosed only if symptoms develop.
    • Amyloid angiopathy. This is an abnormality of the blood vessel walls that sometimes occurs with aging and high blood pressure. It may cause many small, unnoticed bleeds before causing a large one.
    • Blood or bleeding disorders. Hemophilia and sickle cell anemia can both contribute to decreased levels of blood platelets.
    • Liver disease. This condition is associated with increased bleeding in general.
    • Brain tumors .

    What Are the Symptoms of Brain Bleeding?

    The symptoms of a brain hemorrhage can vary. They depend on the location of the bleeding, the severity of the bleeding, and the amount of tissue affected. Symptoms may develop suddenly or over time. They may progressively worsen or suddenly appear.

    Today on WebMD

    nerve damage
    Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
    senior woman with lost expression
    Know the early warning signs.
     
    woman in art gallery
    Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
    medical marijuana plant
    What is it used for?
     
    woman embracing dog
    Quiz
    boy hits soccer ball with head
    Slideshow
     
    red and white swirl
    Article
    marijuana plant
    ARTICLE
     
    brain illustration stroke
    Slideshow
    nerve damage
    Slideshow
     
    Alzheimers Overview
    Slideshow
    Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix
    Quiz