What is Schwannoma Of The Brain?Schwannomas are relatively common low-grade brain tumors (abnormal proliferation of the cells) that arise from the myelin sheath (Schwann-cells) surrounding the cranial nerves. The cranial nerves are 12 nerves that originate from the brain and transmit brain signals to the head, face, neck, and trunk to perform various functions. These nerves help to carry out various functions such as smell, vision, hearing, smiling, chewing, swallowing, sensation and maintaining balance and coordination of the body.
What is a Low-Grade Tumor?A low-grade tumor is a tumor that did not grow rapidly and did not spread to other parts of the body.
Disease EpidemiologyThese are rare tumors and the incidence of the schwannoma of the brain is 1.1 per 100,000 person-years. Vestibular schwannoma is the most common schwannoma of the brain.
Disease Etiology (Causes)In most cases of brain tumors, schwannomas develop suddenly. The reason for the development of schwannoma is a fault in the production of the NF2 gene, which produces a protein in the schwannoma cell called merlin or schwannomin.
Signs and SymptomsSchwannoma brain tumors arise from peripheral and cranial nerves, which have different functions in the body and connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. The symptoms of a schwannoma tumor will depend on the site of origin and the affected nerve. The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Loss of hearing sensation
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- Pain, numbness, or weakness of face muscles
- Constant headache
- Vertigo or loss of balance
- Difficulty in balancing while walking in dark or on the uneven surface
- Hoarse voice or difficulty in Swallowing
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- The weakness of the muscles of one side of the body
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Imaging tests such as X-Ray, CT-scan (computerized tomography), PET-scan (Positron emission tomography) help detect the site, size, and location of the tumor.
- Tumor biopsy and histopathological examination