Research and Funding Are Keys to Raising Awareness and Ultimately Preventing Fatal Brain Aneurysm Ruptures

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The recent death of WABC-TV news reporter Lisa Colagrossi has raised the issue of who's at risk from brain aneurysm ruptures - and are there early symptoms? Innovative research and additional funding are crucial to identifying brain aneurysms and preventing often fatal ruptures, says The Bee Foundation, a Philadelphia based non-profit organization.

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Innovative research and additional funding are crucial to identifying brain aneurysms and preventing often fatal ruptures, says The Bee Foundation, a Philadelphia based non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of brain aneurysms and funding innovative research that saves lives.

The issue has captured national attention with the death of longtime WABC-TV reporter Lisa Colagrossi, 49, who died last Friday after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm. (Source: ABC News, March 23, 2015)

“Ruptured aneurysms are a devastating condition,” said Dr. Shazam Hussain, a member of The Bee Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. Noting that brain aneurysm research is largely underfunded, Hussain added, “More targeted research preventing aneurysm formation and rupture would greatly advance the medical community’s understanding of this disease and ultimately the outcomes for patients who suffer from it.”

An estimated 35,000 people in North America will experience a ruptured cerebral aneurysm in the next year. Of these, 40 to 50 percent will survive, with only 20 percent of these patients having no permanent damage. Brain aneurysms can occur at any age, and are more common in women than men.*

“The tragic death of Lisa Colagrossi drives home the need for continued and focused research efforts not only on early detection and genetic predisposition of brain aneurysms, but also the critical time after the aneurysm rupture. The Bee Foundation is focused on these particular areas of research, with the ultimate goal of saving lives,” said Christine Kondra, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “Our hearts go out to the Colagrossi family.”

Kondra founded The Bee Foundation along with her sister, Erin Doherty Kreszl. The two were inspired by their cousin, Jennifer Sedney, who died December 25, 2013 at the age of 27 from a ruptured brain aneurysm. "Unfortunately," said Kondra," while not an everyday occurrence, this devastating condition can strike anyone at any age, often without commonly recognizable warning signs or any pre-existing risk factors.”

“The majority of the time there are no symptoms leading up to the rupture until right before the bleed,” said Hussain, reinforcing the need for increased research into the condition. When there are symptoms they can be similar to those typically found in stroke patients, including a sudden severe headache, pain above or behind the eye, numbness, weakness and paralysis on one side of the body. Symptoms can also include double vision, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and loss of consciousness.

To find out more about brain aneurysms, the work of The Bee Foundation, their current grant programs, as well as how to support the foundation with a tax deductible contribution, visit the Foundation’s website or contact info(at)thebeefoundation(dot)org.

*The Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute

About The Bee Foundation

The Bee Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to raising awareness of brain aneurysms and funding for innovative research that saves lives. The organization is focused on research for the understanding of the early detection, pathophysiology, and genetic predisposition of brain aneurysms including, but not limited to translational Neurosciences, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Radiology, and Genetics that illustrate a multi-faceted approach. Information on the Foundation can be found at http://www.thebeefoundation.org, or on the Foundation’s Facebook page. Also visit us on Twitter and Instagram.

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Christine Doherty Kondra

Erin Doherty Kreszl
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