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What is a sentinel headache?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

When an aneurysm leaks (releases a small amount of blood), it can result in a sudden and severe headache. These headaches are called sentinel or warning headaches. Typically, a brain aneurysm ruptures without warning, so very few people get these sentinel headaches before a rupture.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.