Cerebral aneurysms have a genetic component, and individuals with a family history of brain aneurysms are at a higher risk of developing them. However, the overall risk for relatives of cerebral aneurysm patients can vary depending on several factors, including the number of affected family members and the presence of specific genetic disorders.
- Familial aneurysms: Studies have suggested that about 7-20% of patients with a brain aneurysm have a family history of the condition. Individuals with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) who has experienced a brain aneurysm are considered to be at a higher risk. The risk increases further if two or more first-degree relatives have had aneurysms.
- Risk for siblings: The risk of a brain aneurysm for siblings of an affected individual is estimated to be around 4-6% higher than that of the general population. This risk may be even higher in families with multiple affected members.
- Risk for children: The risk for children of cerebral aneurysm patients depends on the family history of aneurysms. If a parent has a history of brain aneurysm, the child’s risk is considered to be elevated. However, the exact risk level is difficult to quantify and may be influenced by the presence of other risk factors such as hypertension and smoking.
- Genetic syndromes: Certain genetic conditions, such as polycystic kidney disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndrome, and familial hypercholesterolemia, are associated with an increased risk of cerebral aneurysms. If a family member is affected by one of these syndromes, the risk of aneurysm formation for other relatives is typically higher than for the general population.
It is essential to note that although a family history of cerebral aneurysms increases the risk, most brain aneurysms are not directly inherited. Factors such as age, high blood pressure, and smoking also contribute to aneurysm development. Individuals with a family history of brain aneurysms should discuss their risk factors and potential screening options with a healthcare professional.