martes, 21 de julio de 2009
Brain Tumors: Oligodendroglioma
These are the chronicles of a brain cancer patient with a tumor (oligodendroglioma 3) in the left temporal lobe that controls language. I wrote them for my friends, with the pervert illusion that words could stop the dispersion of the broken splinters in the mirror of memory.
Symptoms and Treatments
Most Common Symptoms
• Frequent headaches (reported by 50% of patients)
• Blurry vision
• Nausea and/or vomiting
• Personality or cognitive changes
that are site-specific:
• Speech impairment
• Numbness on one side
• Problems with coordination, balance or mobility
Left Temporal lobe
• Language comprehension
Two Types of Cells That Make Up the Nervous System
• Neurons send and receive nerve messages
• Glial cells (neuroglia) surround the neurons.
– Ependymal cells
– Satellite cells
• Oligodendrocytes are cells that make myelin, a fatty substance that forms a protective sheath around nerve cells.
– Occurs frequently in the frontal or temporal lobes
– Can be classified as low or high grade
– Common among men and women; 3% of brain tumors mostly affect people in their 20s-40-s, but can occur in children
– More common in men than women
– Accounts for slightly less than three percent of all brain tumors
– May be associated with 1p or 19q chromosomal losses
– Half of patients with oligodendrogliomas are still alive after five years
• CT scan
A CT (computerized tomography) scanner is a special kind of X-ray machine. Instead of sending out a single X-ray through your body as with ordinary X-rays, several beams are sent simultaneously from different angles.
• MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image)
MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, printed or copied to CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).
A surgical procedure in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the tumor and examined under a microscope. The purpose of a biopsy is to diagnose a tumor; to find out its type and grade.
• Radiation therapy
Preparation for Awake Craneotomy: FIDUCIAL
A Silent Movie of the Brain (FMRI)
• MRI creating a three-dimentional image of the brain while listening to 7 stories and imagining these situations without moving or speaking.
• MRI creating a three-dimentional image of the brain while listening to math problems and solving them without moving or speaking.
• The skull is opened while the patient is under anesthesia
• The patient is awakened
• Using the three-dimensional MRI of the Brain as a guiding map, the surgeon touches with a tool the surrounding areas of the tumor that might affect speech or math skills while another doctor and a linguist or translator involve the patient in language drills and math exercises.
• The surgeon determines which parts of the tumor can be removed without affecting the math or language skills of the patient. If a patient cannot speak or do math while a specific point of the surrounding area of the tumor is touched, the surgeon determines not to extract that particular area.
• Once the map of the tumor that will be extracted is completed, the surgeon starts the surgery while the patient continues speaking non stop.
• Upon finishing the surgery, the patient is put again under anesthesia, the skull is covered and the tissue is neatly put back to “normal.”
And you Get a Cool New Hair Style!
“Brain Tumor Basics.” 2009. Brain Tumors. The University of
Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. March 16, 2009.
Burmett, Sarah, Alastair J. Munro & John Pillinger.
“What is a CT scanner?” 2008. Netdoctor.co.uk. March 14, 2009.
Mc Lean, Radha. The Essential Guide to Brain Tumors. Ed.
Edythe Vassall. San Francisco: National Brain Tumor
“Temporal Lobe Damage.” 2009. Merck Manuals. March 16,
“What is MRI of the Body?” August 20, 2008. Radiology Info.
March 16, 2009.