Learn About Brain Cysts
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Learn About Brain Cysts

Brain cysts develop for several different reasons. Some can lay dormant all their life not causing one problem, while others develop into problematic cysts that can reek havoc on a brain. When a brain cyst begins to cause problems, it can be frightening and even dangerous. Find out more about brain cysts; what causes them, how they can be treated, and who you should see if you are diagnosed with a brain cyst.

A neurological problem that is rare, but does exist, is a brain cyst. A brain cyst is just that - a cyst on the brain. What is a cyst? It is a fluid-filled sac, and this type - a brain cyst, just happens to grow on the brain. A brain cyst can grow on any area of the brain, and typically it begins to grow while in-uterine, in the developmental stages. The reasons are not exactly known "why" this happens, and it is a rare phenomenon. But doctors are learning more about them.

How does a cyst develop on the brain? It starts with the linings that cover the brain. There are three linings that cover the brain:

  • The Dura Mater
  • The Pia Mater
  • Arachnoid Mater

The Arachnoid matter is the middle lining that covers and surrounds the brain and brain stem. During development, the lining can split apart from the brain, and fluid (cerebral spinal fluid) builds under this lining, causing a cyst to form. The fluid can continue to build over time in the cyst, which causes it to grow and increase in size.

There are also other ways of developing a cyst; such as, an injury to the brain, or the rare situation of a hereditary condition, which doctors have discovered can be the cause of a cyst forming. However, typically a cyst develops without doctors truly knowing why.

Most brain cysts are what are known as, asymptomatic, which means, "produce no symptoms." But there are some cysts, doctors say a small number of brain cysts, that can cause symptoms and create problems for some people. What type of problems and symptoms you develop depends on a few factors, such as:

  1. What type of cyst you have
  2. What area of the brain the cyst is growing
  3. How large the cyst is
  4. How much damage the cyst has done to the area of the brain it developed on

There are a few forms of treatment with one being surgery. If the cyst is small enough and has not embedded itself in the brain to the point where it would damage the brain to remove, it may be removed. There is also draining the cyst, and a procedure known as fenestration. Fenestration involves using a wand to go into the cyst, to break-up any walls that may have formed inside. These walls trap fluid and cause the cyst to grow.

When a cyst is small enough, it can often be removed altogether, however they do have the possibility of growing back, so you should be followed regularly by a neurologist or neurosurgeon to get regular MRI's to make sure it is not re-growing.

Brain cysts are not considered dangerous. They are not terminal, but they can create enough problems that if left untreated, there can be problems. Brain cysts should be followed and monitored by a doctor to make sure no further developments are happening.

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