Gangliocytomas
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Gangliocytoma is a rare type of tumor of the central nervous system (CNS) composed of mature neurons. Gangliocytomas can arise at any age, however, they are most common in adults between the ages of 10 and 30. 

They are some of the most typical tumors linked to epilepsy. In general, gangliocytomas grow slowly and seldom progress to cancer.

These tumors are typically identified on imaging as cortical solid lesions with little to no surrounding vasogenic edema and little to no accompanying mass impact. Contrast enhancement is typically observed, and calcification and cyst development are both possible.

Types

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Causes

Gangliocytomas, like other cancers, develop when something causes alterations in the genetic instructions of cells. Cells begin to multiply in response to new instructions, eventually forming a bulk or tumor.

Risk factors

Most gangliocytoma tumors, however, form independently of any hereditary condition, and you will be evaluated to determine whether this is the case. Children who have specific genetic disorders, such as neurofibromatosis type 1 and tuberous sclerosis, are more likely to develop gangliocytoma and other types of gliomas. 

Symptoms

Gangliocytoma tumors impact the central nervous system (CNS).

Gangliocytoma symptoms include: 

  • Alterations in movement, including loss of muscle control (tremors, paralysis, and weakness).
  • Changes in sensation, including numbness.
  • Difficulties with speech.
  • Vision changes.
  • Seizures.
Difficulties with speech.

Diagnosis

Your healthcare professional will inquire about your symptoms and family medical history to assist in the diagnosis of gangliocytoma. They will examine you physically and do a neurological examination to look at your Mouth and eye movement, muscle power, and Reflexes.

Using a powerful magnet, radio waves, and a computer, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates painless images of your inside organs and body structures. This test may be used by healthcare professionals to detect tumors or assess their size and location.

A computer and a succession of X-rays are used in a CT (computed tomography) scan to produce three-dimensional images of your soft tissues and bones. Similar to MRIs, medical professionals may use this test to detect and assess malignancies.

Your doctor may perform a blood test to check for atypical melatonin levels.

For the Spinal tap (lumbar puncture) test, a sample of the cerebrospinal fluid that envelops your brain and spine is taken. 

To identify the type of tumor, your doctor takes tumor cells for testing. They frequently employ minimally invasive procedures like stereotactic needle biopsy or endoscopy.

Treatment

If you don’t have any symptoms, your provider may advise you to have regular check-ups so that they may monitor any symptoms you develop and/or perform imaging and blood tests to determine whether the tumor has altered or expanded.

If you do require medical attention, doctors may do surgery to remove the tumor and brain surgery. Gangliocytomas seldom recur after removal.

When do we see Doctor?

If you have persistent symptoms that worry you, schedule a visit with your doctor. For the best outcome, early detection and treatment are essential.

Prevention

There is nothing you can do to avoid these tumors. They form when cells mutate and multiply uncontrolled. Other than whether the mutation is linked to Cowden syndrome, researchers don’t know what causes it. It would be preferable if doctors could catch it as soon as possible.

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