What is ganglioglioma?

A ganglioglioma is a rare tumor found in the brain and spinal cord. The tumor is formed by groups of nerve cells (ganglion cells) and supportive cells (glial cells) in the central nervous system.

This tumor is most commonly found in the temporal lobe which is the part of the brain associated with perception and recognition of speech, memory, and auditory stimuli.

Gangliogliomas tend to be small, low-grade tumors but can sometimes be malignant, high-grade tumors.

Gangliogliomas accounts for less than 2% of all central nervous system tumors.

What causes ganglioglioma? Who is affected?

Children with certain genetic syndromes, including neurofibromatosis 1 and tuberous sclerosis, are at a higher risk of developing glial tumors, however, most of these tumors develop spontaneously.

Gangliogliomas mostly occur in children younger than 10 but can been seen in older children and young adults.

What are the symptoms of ganglioglioma?

Symptoms of ganglioglioma typically develop slowly and include seizures, headaches, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness on one side of the body. Seizures are the main symptom.

How is ganglioglioma treated?

Gangliogliomas can often be managed with surgery alone but if the entire tumor cannot be removed or it returns, doctors may use external radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy may also be used if the tumor is not completely removed by surgery. Many gangliogliomas have specific markers that can be attacked by targeted therapy.