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heat radiation Brain Tumors

BRAIN TUMORS
(Meningioma and Oligodendroglioma)

I.  Pathology
A. Meningioma
II.  Etiology
 A.  No known cause
B.Uncontrolled division of meningial cells
III.  Specifics
A.Affected cell - meninges (cover and protection of brain and spinal cord)
B.Accounts for 20% of all intracranial tumors
C.Typically benign
D.Between skull and brain
E.Compresses but does not invade brain
IV.  Symptoms/Signs
A.Headaches
B.Stroke-like symptoms
C.Seizures
D.Loss of vision
E.Personality changes
F.CT scans and MRIs can determine presence and exact location
V.  Types
A.Convexity (curved part of the skull)
B.Cavernous sinus
C.Sphenoid wing
D.Clivus and parasellar regions
E.Cerebellar (also occur)
VI.  Treatments
A.Surgical removal (most common, first option)
B.Regular radiation
C.Stereotactic Radiosurgery (precise radiation delivered to the brain without harm to surrounding tissue/ this is used for meningiomas that are more difficult to safely remove)
VII.  Prognosis
A.Excellent (more than 95% survival rate)
B.Minimal physical therapy may be necessary

My aunt just recently had surgery to remove a benign meningioma.  The surgery was a success and had she survived despite further complications, her treatment following the surgery was to be mere physical therapy to regain full or partial use of her left hand.  















I.  Pathology
 A.  Oligodendroglioma
II.  Etiology
 A.  Unknown
III.  Specifics
A.Affects oligodendrocytes (responsible for myelin production, which covers nerves      
and allows for quick conduction of information)
B.Most common in male adults
C.May be benign or malignant and spread to other parts of brain or even outside
IV.  Symptoms/Signs
A.Headaches
B.Vomiting
C.Visual complications
D.Memory loss
E.Problems with coordination and speech
F.Mood and personality changes
G.Paralysis on one side
H.CT scans and MRIs can determine presence and exact location of tumors
V.  Types
A.Frontal lobe
B.Temporal lobe
VI.  Treatment
A.Surgery
B.Radiotherapy
C.Chemotherapy

VII.  Prognosis
A.Poor long term
B.Often fatality

In addition to current treatment methods for tumors (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and stereostatic radiosurgery), testing is being done to determine the effects of hyperthermia, gene and viral therapy, as well as immunotherapy (vaccines) as possible treatment methods.  This may be useful because most tumors are more sensitive to heat than other tissues.  Of course, as with all cancers and diseases, continuous research is also being done to determine specific causes.


Bibliography


1.)Histochemistry and Cell Biology.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 1999, 2000, 2001.  http://www.lionk.springer.de/search.htm (20 Mar. 2002)
2.)Johns Hopkins Radiosurgery.  The John Hopkins University.  2000.  http://www.med.jhu.edu/radiosurgery/frames/radiosurgery-ma.html (20 Mar. 2002)
3.)Brain Tumor Group.  Department of Neurosurgery, Nagoya University, Post Graduate School of Medicine.  1999.  http://www.med.Nagoya-u.ac.jp/neurosurg/brain-ge.htm  (20 Mar. 2002)
4.)Understanding Brain Tumors.  Oligodendroglioma.  Cancer BACUP. http://www.bacup.org.uk/info/brain/brain-8.htm  (21 Mar. 2002)    
5.)Tatter, Stephen B., M.D., Ph.D.  Brain Tumor Guide.  1999.  http://www.bgsm.edu/surg-sci/ns/btg-outline.html  (26 Mar. 2002)

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Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs: How they became extinct
Something happened 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, something so devastating that it altered the course of life on earth. It seems like it happened so sudden, as geologic time goes, that almost all the dinosaurs living on earth disappeared. So how did these dominant creatures just die off? Was it a slow extinction, or did it happen all of the sudden? These questions bring rise to many different beliefs on how the dinosaur disappeared over 65 million years ago.
Extinction itself is easily defined: When the birth rate fails to keep up with the death rate, it is called extinction. But, the definition does not answer the question about the nature or causes of extinction. Paleontologists generally divide extinctions into two types, for that of different causes arose. The first is called background extinctions, isolated extinctions of species due to a variety of causes. Included is out competition, depletion of resources in a habitat, changes in climate, the development or destruction of a mountain range, river channel migration, the eruption of a volcano, the drying of a lake, or the destruction of a forest, grassland, or wetland habitat. The second type of extinction is called mass extinctions. There are four main components involved: Large numbers of species go extinct; many types of species go extinct; the effects must be global; and the effects must occur in a geologically short period of time.1
The dinosaur could not have lived for ever. No creatures, no plants, no tiny bacteria are forever, not even Homo sapiens. Extinction is the fate of all species. One theory on how the dinosaurs became extinct is that of carbon dioxide, and the greenhouse effect. Volcanoes produced the proposed conditions. A massive volcanic eruption could have saturated the atmosphere with carbon dioxide so that it caused a sharp rise in temperatures worldwide. The excessive carbon dioxide would have permitted solar energy to enter the atmosphere but would have blocked the radiation of most surface heat back out into space, therefore causing the greenhouse effect. Rising temperatures could have killed off or reduced the activity of plankton, disrupting food chains and also messing up the planktons normal role in converting carbon dioxide to oxygen through photosynthesis. From there it would not have been long for all the dinosaurs to have been suffering, and then to become extinct.

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