Pseudo means false. Applying logic, the name means a false brain tumor. It is mainly caused in the skull due to poor absorption or the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. Women between the age-group of 20 and 50 suffer from this disease. There are numerous symptoms to this disorder. The major symptoms and signs are listed below:
Ringing in the ears that is in co-ordination with one’s heartbeat
Blurred or dimmed vision
Moderate to severe headache that originate behind the patient’s eyes. This condition is aggravated with eye treatment
Small episodes of blindness
Nausea, dizziness and vomiting
Double vision which is also known as diplopia
Difficulty in side vision
Neck, shoulder or back pain
Seeing light flashes which is also known as photopsia
The usual causes of pseudotumor cerebri are still shrouded in mystery, but it is suspected to be linked with excess of cerebrospinal fluid which is present in your skull. The spinal cord and the spinal cord is surrounded by this fluid, it acts like a cushion to protect important tissues from harm. The fluid is usually produced in the brain but is absorbed in the bloodstream. The possibility of the pseudotumor cerebri may be due to an increased intracranial pressure and this may be responsible for the absorption process that takes place. This happens when there is an increase in intracranial pressure, which may happen when the contents of the skull extends their capacity.
The following factors listed below have been associated with this disease:
Medication- Oral contraceptives, growth hormones, discontinuation with steroids, tetracycline and an excess intake of Vitamin A
Obesity- It occurs mostly in 1 in 100,000 people. Women who are under the age of 44 and are obese are more likely to suffer from this disorder.
Health problem- The diseases which are mostly linked to pseudotumor cerebri are Head Injury, Kidney disease, Lupus, Addison’s disease, Mononucleosis, Lyme disease, Polycystic ovary syndrome, underactive parathyroid glands, sleep apnea and so on.
There are a number of tests that are carried out to diagnose this fake tumor. Some of these exams are listed as below:
1)Eye Exam- If the doctor suspects pseudotumor cerebri, he will look for a distinctive kind of swelling, which is known as papilledema in the rear of the eye. The patient may need to undergo various eye tests to see if there are any blind spots in her vision.
2)Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)- A lumbar puncture-which involves placing a needle between two vertebrae in the lower back which helps to decide how high the pressure is inside the skull.
3)Brain imaging- MRI or CT scans can rule out other problems that can cause similar symptoms such as blood clots and brain tumors.
There are treatments for this disorder too. The medications start with trying to control the symptoms. Weight loss is recommended for obese individuals. If th eye-sight gets worse, there are surgeries to reduce the pressure around the optic nerve.