Pseudotumor cerebri occurs when the intracranial pressure (the pressure inside the skull) increases. This can happen for no apparent reason.
The symptoms of pseudotumor cerebri mimic the brain tumor symptoms. However, there is not a tumor (that is why it is called “pseudo” tumor cerebri). It can occur in both adults and children.
Pseudotumor cerebri is referred to as “idiopathic intracranial hypertension”.
This condition can lead to swelling of the optic nerve, which may lead to vision loss. In most cases, medication can be used to reduce the pressure. Some cases of pseudotumor cerebri require surgery.
Pseudotumor Cerebri Causes
The causes are still unknown; however, doctors believe that pseudotumor cerebri can be caused by too much cerebrospinal fluid in the skull. The spinal cord and brain are surrounded by this fluid (it is produced by the brain and its purpose is to protect the tissues). If the fluid isn’t properly absorbed, this can increase the intracranial pressure.
Brain tumors can also increase the pressure in the skull, because there is not enough room in the skull (for the tumor). Intracranial pressure can also increase if the brain swells.
Pseudotumor cerebri is also seen in people who have stenosis in large insures (transverse sinuses); however, it is still unclear whether stenosis (narrowing) can cause pseudotumor cerebri.