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Flashcards in Etiologies 2 Deck (22):

Describe a brain tumor. What is it? What are they defined by?

  • Brain Tumor: Any abnormal cell growth in the brain.
  • They can be…
    • Benign or Malignant
    • Primary or Secondary
    • Invasive, Non invasive or encapsulated
  • Are defined by the type of cells that they are made up of
    • A biopsy is take to analyze the cellular make up of a tumor


Describe a benign brain tumor. Will it spread? How do they grow? How are they discovered? What can they cause?

  • will not metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body
  • Is not considered cancerous
  • Tend to grow more slowly and are often discovered by accident
  • Can still cause increased intracranial pressure, mass effect etc. but it is less common
    • Eg. Meningioma 


Describe a malignant brain tumor. How quickly does it grow? How may it spread? Where is it likely to reoccur? What will happen if it is not treated?

•Aggressive and often fast growing
•Is ‘cancerous’
•May spread by Metastisis (‘Mets’)
•More likely to reoccur in the same location
•Untreated it will be fatal
          •Eg. Glioma


Describe a primary brain tumor. What are they made up of? Are they benign or malignant? Where are they located? What are the most common primary tumors?

•Are made up of cells that are normally found in the brain
•May be benign or malignant
•Usually one site but may project into adjacent structures
•Astrocytomas and gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors


Describe secondary brain tumors (metastasis). What are they made up of? How do they get to the brain? What the most common cancer to do this? How many tumors are there usually?

•Made up of cells from other parts of the body
•Cancer cells travel by blood stream or in the lymph system and lodge in the brain
•Lung cancer is the most common type to metastasize to the brain but others can too.
•Often there will be multiple tumors in the brain when there is metastasis


Describe invasive, non-invasive and encapsulated tumors. What do each do?

•Invasive tumors: Put out “roots” that invade and destroy surrounding tissue
•Non-invasive tumors: Stay put. Continue to grow in place and put pressure on the surrounding tissue.
•Encapsulated Tumors: Tumor is separated from the brain tissue itself
•Think about treatment of each of these….


What are three treatments for brain tumors?

•Resection (Surgical Removal of the Tumor)
•Radiation Therapy
•Chemo Therapy


Describe tumore resection. When is it completed? Is it always complete? What does it leave? Can it be done while patient is awake?

•Completed only if tumor is accessible
•May be complete or partial depending on the tumor and location
•Will likely leave some degree of surgical trauma
•In some situations, may be completed while awake under local anesthesia
             •Speech Mapping


Describe radiation therapy. What are side effects?

•Targeted radiation aimed at the tumor
•Side effects: Radiation Necrosis


Describe chemo therapy. What are side effects? 

•Toxic Chemicals attempt to kill tumor cells
•Side Effects: ‘Chemo Brain’


Describe meningiomas. How common are they among brain tumors? Who are they more common in? Where do they arise from? Are they malignant?

•20% of brain tumors among adults
•More common in women than men (2:1)
•Arise from the tissue of the meninges
•Tend to be benign but may reoccur


Describe glioblastoma. Who does it occur most often in? What is the prognosis? What can in cause? What trial treatment is currently being attempted?

•Most aggressive brain tumor
•Most common of the Malignant tumors in adults
•Occurs most often in people in their 40s and 50s
•Prognosis is about a year with treatment for adults with the most aggressive tumors

  • Notice the mass effect,
  • midline shift
  • and small hemorrhages

Polio virus - kill cancerous cells, leave healthy ones alone


What are 2 infections that can occur in the brain?

Brain Abscess (Empyema)


Describe encephalitis. What is it? What is often caused by? What are the symptoms? What is the disease characterized by?

•Acute infection or inflammation of the brain
•Often caused by a viral infection

  • flu-like  fever and head ache
  • Confused thinking
  • Seizures
  • Sensory/Motor changes

 Herpes simplex causing herpes encephalitis. The disease is characterized by extensive and asymmetric necrosis of the temporal lobes. 


Describe brain abcess - empayema. What is it? What can it start as?

•A collection of puss in or around the brain
•Can start as an dental, ear or Lung infection and spread. 


Describe anoxia. What is it? What is it a form of? What can it be caused by? Is it widespread? Are its deficits wide spread?

  • Anoxia: Total lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Is a form of ischemia
  • Can be caused by anything that prevents oxygenation
    • Cardiac Arrest
    • Drowning
    • Drug overdose
  • Diffuse, widespread injury
  • Often results in severe wide spread deficits


Describe hypoxic encepholopathy. What is hypoxia? What happens as oxygen decreases? What is it often related to?

•Hypoxia: insufficient oxygen to the brain
•As oxygen decreases cells stop functioning and eventually begin to die
•Often related to Pulmonary Disease

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Describe seizures. What are they? Can tehy cause damage? What are they described as (2)?

•Sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain
•One ‘big’ seizure can cause damage
•Many smaller seizures may lead to cumulative damage
•Are described as Partial or Complex


What are the stages of seizure? What occurs in each?

  • Aura - period before the seizure when the patient experiences warning symptoms
  • Ictus - Time during the seizure. Exact symptoms depend on the type of seizure
  • Post-ictus - Time after seizure. Can last for minutes or hours. POSTICTAL confusion, lethargy and weakness and memory loss may occur


Describe partial seizures. What are they? What is a simple partial seizure? What is a complex partial seizure?

Partial: confined to a specific region of the brain

  • Can create any motor, sensory or memory symptoms depending on which part of the brain is impacted


  • Very localized, Patient remains conscious
  • May have  non-purposeful motor or sensory symptoms
  • May report déjà vu feeling
  • Typically no postictal confusion


  • more widespread activity, altered consciousness
  • Similar symptoms to simple
  • May have aura phase or postictal confusion



Describe generalized seisures. What are they? What is tonic-clonic? What is absence?

  • Electrical abnormality effects both hemispheres of the brain
  • Tonic –Clonic:
    • Loss of consciousness (LOC)
    • Tonic phase: muscle contractions, stiffness.
    • Clonic Phase: convulsions 
  • Absence (Petite Mal):
    • May go undiagnosed for years.
    • Brief periods of staring
    • Patient may be unaware and return to activity as if nothing happened



Describe children with epilepsi. What are they at risk for? Why?

  • Overlooked laguage disorder?
  • Children with Epilepsy are at risk for language disorders
    • Changes in the brain due to seizure activity
    • Medications used to control seizures
  • These kids rarely see an SLP for intervention
  • Should we be baselining kids when they are first diagnosed?