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Brain Videos

Brain tumors are collections of abnormal cells in the brain that can become debilitating. The chances of a person developing a brain tumor is less than one percent.

Brain tumors may be inside a person’s brain, or the tumor(s) may be next to the brain. Tumors can grow and press harmfully against healthy brain tissue. This can cause a wide range of problems throughout a person’s body. A brain tumor can also severely impact life.

Patients with certain genetic conditions like retinoblastoma, neurofibrimatosis, immune system disorders and various diseases and syndromes, have an increased risk of developing brain tumors. Scientists also know some chemicals may change the genetic structure of the body that protects people from diseases and cancer. For example, oil refinery workers, rubber manufacturing workers and chemists have a higher incidence of certain types of tumors.

Brain cancer is rare, but more than half of people diagnosed with the disease will experience extreme headaches, while 50 percent also experience seizures at some point. Other symptoms include nausea, blurred vision, balance problems, drowsiness, vomiting and personality changes.

There are different types of brain tumors, including:

  • Acoustic Neuroma – this tumor is developed from cells that form a protective sheath around nerve fibers. Usually benign, acoustic neuroma typically grows around the eighth cranial nerve, but can be found around other cranial or spinal nerves.
  • Glioblastoma Multiforme – This form of brain tumor is the most challenging to treat. MHSI doctors have access to the most current technology to treat this cancer, included image-guided surgical treatments.
  • Meningioma - This is a tumor in your meninges. These thin layers of protective tissue surround your brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas are not cancerous and they usually grow slowly.
  • Pituitary - Your pituitary gland is found just under your brain. This pea-sized gland makes hormones that affect many of your body's functions. A pituitary tumor can cause it to release too much or too little of these hormones. This can cause serious problems, including the tumor pressing against your brain, which can cause headaches and vision loss. Most pituitary masses are not tumors, according to MHSI experts. Symptoms may include increased body hair, enlarged hands and feet, increased anxiety and depression, loss of sex drive and menstrual cycle, weight loss and changes in heart function.
  • Schwannoma - A schwannoma is a type of nerve tumor of the nerve sheath. It's the most common type of benign peripheral nerve tumor in adults. It can occur anywhere in your body, at any age. A schwannoma typically comes from a single bundle (fascicles) within the main nerve and displaces the rest of the nerve. When a schwannoma grows larger, more fascicles are affected, making removal more difficult. In general, a schwannoma grows slowly. Schwannomas are rarely cancerous.

More information about these types of brain tumors can be found here: https://www2.mhsi.us/patient-education/brain-tumors/

What is a brain aneurysm?

A brain aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of a blood vessel within the brain. The weakness allows the vessel to form an abnormal bulge that can rupture or burst like a water-filled balloon. A ruptured aneurysm that bleeds into the space around the brain is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). There are also aneurysms that never rupture. Aneurysms can be different sizes and differ in shape.

For more information about brain aneurysms, click: https://www2.mhsi.us/patient-education/brain-aneurysm/

What is a stroke?

A stroke is an attack on the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel (also called an artery) ruptures while bringing oxygen and blood to the brain. When this occurs, the brain cells immediately die due to lack of oxygen.

Types of Stroke

Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

Considered a mini-stroke, this type precedes about 15 percent of all strokes. A TIA happens when an artery is blocked by a blood clot for a short period of time, and the blood flow to an area of the brain is stopped or slowed down. Symptoms, while not permanent, may include numbness, difficulty speaking, and loss of coordination.

Ischemic Stroke

Occurs when a blood clot is blocking an artery, limiting the flow of oxygen that is not reaching the brain cells. Without oxygen reaching the brain, brain cells will begin to die. This type of stroke is the most common and accounts.

  • Embolic ischemic stroke – a blood clot or plaque moves through the bloodstream and reaches the brain.
  • Thrombotic ischemic stroke – a blood clot blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain.
  • System hypoperfusion – the heart stops pumping and not enough blood reaches the brain.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

This is more serious type of stroke, where the fatality rate is higher and prognosis is poorer. This happens with a blood vessel bursts and blood spills into the brain. A brain aneurysm or a weakened blood vessel leak usually occurs in this type of stroke.

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage – is a blood vessel that bursts and bleeds deep into brain tissue.
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage – the blood vessel bursts near the surface of the brain and blood pours into the area between the brain and skull.
  • Aneurysm – a weak spot on the wall of an artery that may balloon or bulge out and burst, leaking blood into or outside of the brain.
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) – it consists of a tangle of abnormal vessels connecting arteries and veins with no normal intervening brain tissue.

For more information about stroke, visit https://www2.mhsi.us/patient-education/what-is-a-stroke/

Treatment for a brain tumor

Surgery is the primary treatment for tumors within the membranes covering the brain or residing in parts of the brain that can be extracted without hampering neurological functions. Secondary treatments include radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Treatment for a stroke

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone you know experiences warning signs, which may include a severe, sudden and unusual headache, or if the person has had a prior stroke. It’s critical to diagnose a stroke as soon as possible as the treatment for stroke depends on the type and source of the stroke, location of the injury to the brain and how long the brain tissue has been without blood supply.

Treatment for an aneurysm

Medical treatments are available for an unruptured aneurysm. These may include a CT scan, angiography, MRA, all to monitor growth of the aneurysm over time. Also included is endovascular coiling or surgical clipping, which stops blood flow to the aneurysm.

If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for brain cancer, an aneurysm, a stroke, or pituitary issues, or are seeking a second opinion on any of these conditions, schedule an appointment online or contact MHSI at 877.784.3667.

To view more information about MHSI’s neurosurgeons, visit: https://www2.mhsi.us/doctors/neurosurgery-physicians/. For more information about MHSI’s  neurologists, visit: https://www2.mhsi.us/doctors/neurologists/

Brain Videos

LaMonta B.
Enjoying lunch with his friends at school, LaMonta began drooling and had a severe headache. His friends recognized he was having a stroke—at 17 years old! Everything aligned to save LaMonta's life that day. Dr. Holly Gilmer was already in the OR and did immediate surgery. Meet this 17 year-old who wanted to be a surgeon even before his own medical experience!

Maureen W. 
Maureen's shooting facial pain was unbearable, Trigeminal Neuralgia was the cause.... She found Dr. Jeffrey Jacob to conduct the surgery. She has not had any pain since the surgery.

Stefan K.
When Stefan was a teen, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and told surgery wasn't necessary. Years later he experienced blurry vision in his right eye. The diagnosis was trigeminal schwannoma, a tumor at the base of his brain. Dr. Jeffrey Jacob and Dr. Seilesh Babu of the Michigan Ear Institute worked together to treat Stefan's schwannoma.  Stefan recommends two Facebook groups that helped him:  1) A facebook group called Brain Tumor Talk and 2) Schwannoma's of the head/neck.

Kevin C. 
A renown concert pianist's career could have come to an end due to a diagnosis of Acoustic Neuroma. Kevin put his trust in partners Dr. Jeffrey Jacob and Dr. Seilesh Babu who made sure that didn't happen using skull base surgery.

Debra S.
Debra met Dr. Fredrick Junn in the Emergency room. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, surgery was immediate. Debra shares her experience.

Sean C. 
When Sean was diagnosed with a very large and complex tumor at the base of his skull, his doctor suggested a visit to Dr. Jeffrey Jacob at Michigan Head & Spine Institute. As partners in Sean's surgery Dr. Seilesh Babu and Dr. Jeffrey Jacob gave Sean the opportunity to raise his children.  

Heather's Story
Heather is an RN and a busy mom. She was noticing a great deal of fatigue doing day to day functions. She had an MRI and was referred to Dr. Richard Fessler. She was diagnosed with an Unruptured Aneurysm. She had found more women in her family had Aneurysms. Dr. Richard Fessler performed an Endovascular Aneurysm Coiling. She was in the hospital for 20 hours and back home to her family!

Lisa J.
An MRI revealed that the decades of headaches Lisa had been experiencing were the result of four small brain tumors. Dr. Daniel Fahim was able to remove the masses with one incision, and Lisa was back to work two weeks after her procedure.

Letitia C.
Letitia was unable to eat and many of her motor functions were showed how Parkinson's disease was taking over her body. Her family found Dr. Frederick Junn, at the Michigan Head & Spine Institute. Deep Brain Stimulation gave Letitia relief from many of her symptoms and she began to thrive again.

Paul E.
For 30 years Paul struggled to work and live his life with Central Tremor Disorder. When Dr. Richard Venya suggested Deep Brain Stimulation. Now Paul is in charge and uses a modulator to control the tremors, which are nearly non-existent.

Kim S.
Kim was having issues with her eye sight. Her ophthalmologist sent her to the ER where she found out she had a tumor. Dr. Daniel Fahim performed her surgery. She was so appreciative of his professionalism, skill set, the ability to make her feel comfortable.

Sal and Rose C.
Sal and Rose were both seen in the ER after suffering a life threatening traumatic experience. Dr. Daniel Fahim and Dr. Holly Gilmer have continued to be there during their on going treatment.

Keith E.
Keith used music to calm and soothe himself. He had headaches and nothing helped soothe the pain. Dr. Daniel Michael found and removed a brain tumor.  Keith is back to himself, pain free. 

Margaret H.
After a car accident that caused a brain injury. Her memory was awful and would forget things. She felt that she was a completely different person after the accident. Dr. Robert Farhat explained how to heal her brain. She is back to the "old Margaret" now!

Suzanne H.
Suzanne was just not acting herself and found out she had a massive brain tumor. Dr. Richard Venya removed the tumor.

Duane S.
After suffering a massive headache, Duane's visit to the clinic ended up with a transfer to the ER. Scary as it was,  Dr. Richard Fesseler explained how serious an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) is and performed a life-saving procedure.

Eva E.
Right before sight-saving brain surgery many of the doctors told Eva, "Dr. Daniel Fahim is the best," but after surgery I knew he really is the best!

Alicia R.
For years, Alicia was unable to turn her head to look forward - her head was stuck.  Dr. Fredrick Junn recommended Deep Brain Stimulation to Alicia. Immediately after surgery, Alicia was able to move her head, now she can hold her head in the forward position without pain. 

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