Meningiomas are tumors which develop in the meninges, the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas (90%) are benign, with the remaining 10% being cancerous. As a meningioma grows it will disrupt the function of nearby portions of the brain and other vital structures. Meningiomas may cause seizures, neurological defects, headaches, arm or leg weakness and vision loss. Meningiomas located near the hearing and balance systems may produce corresponding symptoms.
Meningiomas commonly affect individuals between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. They are more common in women than in men. Meningiomas are extremely rare in children, with pediatric patients accounting for less than 2 % of cases. The only known predisposing factors associated with meningiomas are certain genetic disorders (neurofibromatosis) and radiation exposure. Some researchers report an association between meningioma and head trauma.
A Meningioma diagnosis is made after a comprehensive medical examination by an otologist and a series of neurological examinations in conjunction with contrast enhanced imaging scans (CT or MRI) scan.