Can cerebral cavernous malformations be prevented?

Can cerebral cavernous malformations be prevented?

No, generally these malformations can’t be prevented. If there’s a family history of these lesions, a geneticist will discuss testing and provide counseling.

You can, however, control some general health risk factors to decrease your chance of hemorrhage. These include:

  • Make sure your health indicators are within their normal range:
    • Blood pressure: < 120/80 mm Hg.
    • Total cholesterol level: < 200 mg/dL; low-density lipoprotein (LDL) <100 mg/dL; non-high density lipoprotein < 130 mg/dL.
    • Blood glucose level: < 140 mg/dL (two hours after eating), < 99 mg/dL (after eight-hour fast).
  • Ask your neurologist about any blood-thinning medication you may be taking, including aspirin and ibuprofen. Although there’s no evidence that these medications cause a bleed, they can increase the degree of the bleed if they’re in your body at the time of a bleed.
  • Stay physically active. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week. There’s no evidence that exercise increases your risk for a brain bleed from a cavernous hemangioma.
  • Don’t use tobacco products. Ask your provider for help to quit smoking or using tobacco.
  • Don’t consume alcohol to an excess (men no more than two alcoholic beverages per day, women no more than one).

Make an annual appointment for a general health checkup. Take all medications as directed by your provider or the package labeling. Never stop taking your medication or change the dose without talking to your provider first.

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