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Understanding Meningiomas: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Meningiomas are one of the most common types of intracranial tumors, originating from the meninges, the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. While often benign, meningiomas can still cause significant health issues due to their location and/or size. This article provides an overview of meningiomas, including their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.


What is meningioma?

A meningioma is a type of tumor that forms from the meninges, particularly from an arachnoid membrane. It accounts for about 30% of all brain tumors and is usually benign, meaning it is not cancerous. However, in rare cases, meningiomas can be atypical or malignant, in which case they are more aggressive.


Symptoms of Meningiomas

The symptoms of meningiomas depend on their size and location in the brain or spinal cord. Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches: Often one of the first signs, headaches can become progressively worse over time.

  • Seizures: Meningiomas can irritate the brain and cause seizures.

  • Vision Problems: Tumors near the optic or oculomotor nerves can cause blurred or double vision.

  • Hearing Loss: Tumors near the auditory nerves can lead to hearing issues.

  • Weakness in Limbs: Depending on the location, meningiomas can cause weakness or numbness in the arms or legs.

  • Cognitive Changes: Difficulty with memory, concentration, or changes in personality can occur.


Diagnosing Meningiomas

Diagnosing meningiomas typically involves several steps:

  1. Neurological Examination: An initial assessment to check for signs and symptoms.

  2. Imaging Tests: MRI (Fig. 1) and CT scans (Fig. 2) are the most common imaging techniques used to detect meningiomas. MRI provides detailed images of the brain and spinal cord, helping in assessing the tumor's size and location.

  3. Biopsy: In some cases, a biopsy may be performed to determine if the meningioma is benign or malignant.

მენინგომა, მენინგომები, მენინგომას მკურნალობა და დიაგნოსტიკა, საუკეთესო ნეიროქირურგი თბილისში არჩილ ერისთავი

Treatment Options for Meningiomas

Treatment depends on various factors, including the size and location of the tumor, symptoms, and the patient’s overall health. Common treatment options include:

  1. Watchful Waiting: For small, asymptomatic meningiomas, doctors may recommend regular monitoring with MRI scans.

  2. Surgery: The most common treatment for symptomatic meningiomas. The goal is to remove as much of the tumor as possible. In some cases, complete removal may not be possible without damaging surrounding tissues.

  3. Radiation Therapy: Used when the tumor cannot be completely removed surgically, or in cases of atypical or malignant meningiomas. Stereotactic radiosurgery can be used to target relatively small tumors.

  4. Medication: Anti-seizure medications may be prescribed if the patient experiences seizures. Additionally, some newer treatments involve medications that target specific pathways involved in tumor growth.


Prognosis and Follow-up

The prognosis for patients with meningiomas is generally good, especially for those with benign tumors. Regular follow-up with MRI scans is essential to monitor for any recurrence or growth of the tumor. For patients with atypical or malignant meningiomas, the prognosis varies, and ongoing treatment and monitoring are crucial.


Conclusion

Meningiomas are a common type of brain tumor that can significantly impact a person's health. Early detection and treatment is essential for managing symptoms and improving outcomes. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms such as persistent headaches, vision problems, or seizures, consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

რუნველყოფს წარმატებულ შედეგებს და ცხოვრების ხარისხის გაუმჯობესებას.


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Meningiomas, best neurosurgeon in Tbilisi, Georgia, Dr. Archil Eristavi

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