What’s the Difference Between a Stroke and a Brain Aneurysm?

differences between a stroke and a brain aneurysm

Two conditions that similarly manifest themselves, a stroke and a brain aneurysm are often confused with each other. However, while they might be similar, these two conditions have some important differences that should be noted.

Here are the key differences between a stroke and a brain aneurysm.


The reason why these two conditions are often confused is their similar symptoms. As you’re about to see, there are some important differences between the symptoms of a stroke and a brain aneurysm that can help you recognize these two conditions.


  • Intense, sudden headache
  • Weakness in legs or arms
  • Tingling or numbness on one side of the body or face
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Brain aneurysm:

  • A headache
  • Weakness usually in only one limb
  • Numbness or tingling in one or more limbs
  • Vomiting


One of the key differences between a stroke and a brain aneurysm is their causes. While an aneurysm is typically caused by damage done to the artery (by trauma or a health condition), a stroke can be caused by different things.

  • Ischemic stroke – caused by a blockage in the cerebral arteries, this is the most common stroke. The blockage that causes the stroke is most often a blood clot. It can also be a result of the artery narrowing.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke – this type of stroke is caused by bleeding due to a ruptured artery. The reason for this can sometimes be arteriovenous malformation (AVM) – a poor formation of blood vessels.

Final Word

Although both of these conditions can happen suddenly and they have somewhat similar symptoms, there are many differences between a stroke and a brain aneurysm. Keep these differences in mind and make sure to immediately contact your doctor or 911 if you notice any of these symptoms have come suddenly.

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