Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)


See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


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


  1. Glioma. Mayo Clinic. April 2015;
  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.
GARD Video Tutorials
GARD Video Tutorials
Learn how to find information on treatment, research, specialists, and more.
Contact GARD
Contact GARD
Contact a GARD Information Specialist with your questions about this condition.

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.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • 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.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.