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Brain stem: The brain stem is the lower part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord. It contains bundles of very long nerve fibers that carry signals controlling muscles and sensation or feeling between the cerebrum and the rest the body.
Brainstem gliomas are tumours which develop from glial cells within the brain stem. Around 75% of brainstem gliomas are diagnosed in children and young adults under the age of twenty, but they can affect older adults as well. The brain stem is the lowest part of the brain, at the back, and joins the brain to the spinal cord.
A brain tumor can form in the brain cells (as shown), or it can begin elsewhere and spread to the brain. As the tumor grows, it creates pressure on and changes the function of surrounding brain tissue, which causes signs and symptoms such as headaches, nausea and balance problems.
Brain stem tumors, also called brain stem gliomas, can arise anywhere in the brain stem. Some early signs can include problems with control of the facial muscles, such as twitching, crossed eyes, and difficulty chewing and swallowing. A glioma will also lead to weakened muscles and a clumsy gait.
Brain Stem Tumors. Dan had experienced the typical early symptoms of a brain stem tumor— double vision, headaches, and lack of coordination with walking. Additional symptoms include problems with sensation, face and eye movements, hearing, and swallowing. Weakness and stiff muscles are also common.
Brainstem gliomas usually occur in children, but can occasionally be found in adults. Brainstem tumors account for 11% of primary brain tumors in children and adolescents.1. For most patients, the cause of brainstem glioma is unknown.