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Oligodendrogliomas

Oligodendrogliomas are a type of glial cell tumor arising from oligodendrocytes, glial cells that form insulation around neurons, that helps them conduct electrical impulses. These uncommon, usually slow-growing, tumors occur most often in middle-aged patients.

Symptoms

The symptoms of oligodendrogliomas are similar to those of other gliomas, but seizures in particular are the most common presenting symptom.

Diagnosis

Like other brain tumors, these tumors are diagnosed with radiological imaging. Ninety percent of these tumors show some degree of hardening or calcification.

Astrocytomas can be "low-grade" or slow-growing tumors; their symptoms develop over an extended period of time. Representing approximately 10 to 15 percent of all gliomas, they generally are found in young patients and have a more favorable prognosis. Unfortunately, low-grade astrocytomas also occur less frequently than their malignant, high-grade counterparts.

Treatment

Surgery is the most common initial treatment, but it is especially important in the treatment of oligodendrogliomas because the benefits of radiation on these masses is not clear. As always, more complete tumor resection is associated with better outcomes. Recently, the role of chemotherapy as a viable treatment for some oligodendrogliomas has been established.

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