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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Glioma


Other Names for this Disease
  • Glial tumor
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Overview

Glioma refers to a type of brain tumor that develops from the glial cells, which are specialized cells that surround and support neurons (nerve cells) in the brain. It is generally classified based on which type of glial cell is involved in the tumor:
  • Astocytoma - tumors that develop from star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes
  • Ependymomas - tumors that arise from ependymal cells that line the ventricles of the brain and the center of the spinal cord
  • Oligodendrogliomas - tumors that affect the oligodendrocytes

The symptoms of glioma vary by type but may include headaches; nausea and vomiting; confusion; personality changes; trouble with balance; vision problems; speech difficulties; and/or seizures. The exact underlying cause is unknown. In most cases, the tumor occurs sporadically in people with no family history of the condition. Treatment depends on many factors, including the type, size, stage and location of the tumor, but may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 7/15/2015

References

  1. Glioma. Mayo Clinic. April 2015; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/glioma/home/ovc-20129412.
  2. Lawrence D Recht, MD. Diagnosis and classification of low-grade gliomas. UpToDate. June 2014; Accessed 7/15/2015.
  3. Tracy Batchelor, MD, MPH; William T Curry, Jr, MD. Clinical manifestations and initial surgical approach to patients with high-grade gliomas. UpToDate. July 2015; Accessed 7/15/2015.
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Basic Information

  • The American Brain Tumor Association has an information page on Glioma. Click on the link to view this information page.
  • The Mayo Clinic Web site provides further information on Glioma.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.

In Depth Information

  • The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Glioma.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Glioma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Glial tumor
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.