AWM-MAA Etta Z. Falconer Lecture 2011

Lecturer: Dawn Lott, Delaware State University

Title: Mathematical Interventions for Aneurysm Treatment

Abstract: Aneurysm is a vascular disease characterized by a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel that balloons out and fills with blood. Cerebral aneurysm can occur anywhere in the brain, but most are located along a loop of arteries that run between the underside of the brain and the base of the skull (Circle of Willis). Cerebral aneurysms are particularly dangerous because of their difficulty to treat and their high mortality and morbidity rate. There are several risk factors for cerebral aneurysm, among which are hypertension, heavy alcoholic consumption and cigarette smoking. Rupture of cerebral aneurysm (subarachnoid hemorrhage) can cause stroke. Understanding the mathematical relationships and the hemodynamic factors predisposing aneurysms to further growth and rupture will enable neurosurgeons to determine which aneurysms have a high likelihood of rupture and should thus be treated. In addition, such knowledge may also help predict which aneurysms will never rupture. In making such predictions, only patients with a risk of aneurysmal rupture will thus be exposed to the risk of surgery. This talk will discuss mathematical and biomechanical interventions for aneurysm treatment and will address societal effects of this vascular disease.