Saturday 01 Nov 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

Simple Science @Heart: Worst headache of your life could be a stroke — get to the ER!

Published: 10:10 am CDT, May 3, 2012

A sudden, severe headache — so powerful it’s like a thunderclap inside your head — is a classic symptom of a less common type of stroke.

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is a bleeding stroke. Survivors often describe the “thunderclap headache” as “the worst headache of my life.” It occurs most in people 40 to 60 years old.

Most people don’t recognize the symptoms, say American Stroke Association experts.

Besides the thunderclap headache, symptoms can include vomiting, confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures. Neck stiffness may also occur several hours after the onset of the headache.

If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t waste time trying to figure what it is. Go to the emergency room.

May is American Stroke Month. Learn more about cerebral aneurysms and understand your risk of stroke.

 

Related Information:


Researcher Information:

E. Sander Connolly Jr., M.D., vice-chairman of neurological surgery at Columbia University in New York and co-director of the neurosciences intensive care unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital; (212) 305-8680; esc5@columbia.edu(Please do not publish contact information).