One of the most common type of non-cancerous brain tumors seen in adults. They develop along the nervesand are comprised of nerve cells that provide the ‘electrical insulation’ for the nerve cells. Instead of invading the normal nerve, schwannomas often displace them. The most common type of schwannomas are the Acoustic neuromas. They derive from the 8th cranial nerve (also known as vestibularcochlear nerve). These nerves travel from the brain to the ear. Even though they are non-cancerous, they may cause several serious health complications, including death. Death may happen when they develop and start putting more pressure on the nerves upto the brain. Other locations where these kind of tumor may develop are- the spine, along the nerves that go to the limbs. Common signs and symptoms of Schwannomas are:
- Hearing impairment in one ear.
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Decreased eye closure and facial weakness
- Numbness, pain or tingling on the one side of the face (only if the tumor enlarge upwards)
- Loss of taste
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Visual defects
- Radiographic evaluation
- Audiometric and audiologic studies
Best treatment method for schwannomas is surgery. The surgery is carried out with the help of a high end microscope under electro-physiologic monitoring. Lingering and reoccuring cases may be treated using Stereotactic radiotherapy or Gama knife radiosurgery. Post-operative care is vital for this kinds of tumors.