Chinese President Xi Jinping may be suffering from cerebral aneurysm and was reportedly hospitalised last year, media reports have claimed. Though China hasn’t officially released any statement about Xi’s health condition, there have been speculations about Xi’s health as he had avoided meeting the foreign leaders since the outbreak of COVID-19 till the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The report comes at a crucial time for China, which is under a lot of strain due to oil and gas price hikes and disruption to the supply chain caused by the Ukraine conflict. The “zero COVID-19” policy is also adversely affecting the country’s economy.
What is cerebral aneurysm?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine Centre, it is a ballooning arising from an abnormal focal dilation of an artery in the brain that results from a weakening of the inner muscular layer in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. The disease is also called brain aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm.
The “blister-like” dilation can become thin and rupture without warning.
Why is it life-threatening?
If the brain aneurysm expands and the blood vessel wall becomes too thin, the aneurysm will rupture and bleed into the space around the brain, as per Johns Hopkins Medicine Centre. This event is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage and may cause a hemorrhagic stroke.
What the symptoms of cerebral aneurysm?
Johns Hopkins Medicine Centre says that most brain aneurysms have no symptoms and are small in size (less than 10 millimetres).
However, some occasional symptoms include headaches (rare, if unruptured), eye pain, vision changes and diminished eye movement.
After aneurysm is confirmed, a person experiences stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, changes in mental status (such as drowsiness), dilated pupils, loss of consciousness, loss of balance or coordination, sensitivity to light and back or leg pain.
What contributes to the formation of cerebral aneurysm?
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons says that hypertension (high blood pressure), cigarette smoking, a genetic predisposition, injury or trauma to blood vessels and complication from some types of blood infections believe to contribute to its formation.