Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-2

Date: Latest Version

Brain Tumor

  • Ethan MoitraAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Brown University Email author 
  • , Daniel SmithAffiliated withDrexel University

Definition

An abnormal mass of tissue in which some cells (glial or non-glial) grow and multiply uncontrollably. A tumor can be benign or malignant. It is associated with damage or mutation to the TP53 gene on human chromosome 17. P53 regulates the cell cycle and functions in tumor suppression. A tumor can cause damage by increasing pressure in the brain, by shifting the brain or pushing against the skull, and by invading and damaging nerves and healthy brain tissue. Some tumors may be truly indolent in their growth, growing so slowly that they are present for an unknown length of time because symptoms are less gross and disruptive. Those that are actively growing may be more likely to present with the following symptoms, depending on tumor locus: headaches; nausea or vomiting; seizures or convulsions; difficulty in thinking, speaking, or finding words; personality changes; weakness or paralysis in one part or one side of the body; loss of balance; vision changes; confusion and disorien ...

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