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It is possible that the main title of the report Meningioma is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Arachnoidal Fibroblastoma
  • Dural Endothelioma
  • Leptomeningioma
  • Meningeal Fibroblastoma

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Meningiomas are benign, slow-growing tumors, classified as brain tumors, but actually growing in the three protective membranes that surround the brain (meninges). Sometimes they cause thickening or thinning of adjoining skull bones. Meningiomas do not spread to other areas of the body.


Symptoms of Meningioma vary according to the size and location of the tumor.

FRONTAL TUMORS: These type of tumors can produce progressive weakness on one side of the body or in a localized area such as a leg. They can also cause seizures that may be limited to one area (focal), or generalized. Mental changes may also occur.

Seizures are caused by a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain. They are usually sudden, brief attacks of altered consciousness, unusual muscle movements, sensations, and/or behavior. The patient with seizures may fall, experience jerky movements, appear to be in a daze or asleep. A focal seizure is localized in one part of the body. (For more information, choose "Epilepsy" as your search term in the Rare Disease database).

Mental changes may include drowsiness, listlessness, dullness, or personality changes.

If the tumor is in the dominant hemisphere, which is the left side of the brain for right handed persons, it can produce speech difficulties (aphasia). Frontal lobe tumors can also produce loss of sense of smell, blurred or double vision, and loss of bladder control (incontinence or sudden, unexpected urination).

TEMPORAL TUMORS: Temporal tumors, particularly in the non-dominant hemisphere, usually cause no symptoms other than seizures. However, some patients loose the ability to recognize and name objects (anomia) if the tumor is in the dominant hemisphere.

PARIETAL TUMORS: Meningiomas over the parietal lobe, which lies behind the frontal lobe, may produce either generalized seizures or focal sensory seizures which are characterized by a strange sensation (paresthesia) in a particular part of the body. The inability to identify an object by touching it (astereognosis) can also be caused by meningiomas of the parietal lobe.

The most common symptom associated with brain tumors is headache. However, not all tumors cause headaches.


The cause of Meningioma is unknown. Meningiomas usually develop from cell clusters associated with arachnoidal villi.

Affected Populations

Meningiomas most frequently occur in middle-aged persons. They are more common in women than in men by a ratio of 3:2. These types of tumors are rare in childhood, and they seldom affect Americans of African descent.

Standard Therapies

Many meningiomas can be completely removed surgically. Some, due to their location, can only be partially removed. In these areas of the brain, complete removal would carry the risk of damaging a major artery or of destroying a part of the brain. However, even partial removal should provide some relief from symptoms. Because meningiomas may grow so slowly, it may be many years before further surgery may be necessary. Radiation and chemotherapy are usually not used to treat meningiomas.

If the patient with Meningioma has muscle weakness, coordination problems, or speech impairment, physical, occupational, or speech therapy may be helpful. Complete recovery from symptoms is possible after surgery.

Investigational Therapies

Information on current clinical trials is posted on the Internet at All studies receiving U.S. government funding, and some supported by private industry, are posted on this government website.

For information about clinical trials being conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, contact the NIH Patient Recruitment Office:

Toll free: (800) 411-1222

TTY: (866) 411-1010


For information about clinical trials sponsored by private sources, contact:



Books for patients are available from the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) and include the following.

A Primer of Brain Tumors: A Patient's Reference Manual. 7th Edition

Dictionary for Brain Tumor Patients.


Beers MH, Berkow R., eds. The Merck Manual, 17th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories; 1999:1446-47.

Berkow R., ed. The Merck Manual-Home Edition. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories; 1997:379-80.

Adams, RD, et al., eds. Principles of Neurology. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Companies; 1997:658-59.


McElveen JT Jr, Dorfman BE, Fukushima T. Petroclival tumors: a synthesis. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2001;34:1219-30.

De Jesus O, Toledo MM. Surgical management of meningioma en plaque of the sphenoid ridge. Surg Neurol. 2001. 55:265-69.

Akunwunmi J, Powell M. Understanding cerebral tumours. Practitioner. 2001;245:494, 498-502.


Liu JK, Forman S, Hershewe Gl, et al. Optic nerve sheath meningiomas: visual improvement after stereotactic radiotherapy. Neurosurgery. 2002;50:950-57.

Boljesikova E, Chorvath M. Radiation-induced meningiomas. Neoplasma. 2001;48:442-44.

Ashkan K, Rose P, Walter P. Cystic meningioma: challenges in the diagnosis. Br J Neurosurg. 2002;16:72-73.

Custer BS, Koepell TD, Mueller BA. The association between breast carcinoma and meningioma in women. Cancer. 2002;94:1626-35.

Ciric I, Rosenblatt S. Suprasellar meningiomas. Neurosurgery. 2001;49:1372-77.


American Brain Tumor Association

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Chicago, IL 60631


Tel: (773)577-8750

Fax: (773)577-8738

Tel: (800)886-2282



American Cancer Society, Inc.

250 Williams NW St

Ste 6000

Atlanta, GA 30303


Tel: (404)320-3333

Tel: (800)227-2345

TDD: (866)228-4327


Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center

McLean Hospital

115 Mill Street

Belmont, MA 02178

Tel: (617)855-2400

Fax: (617)855-3199

Tel: (800)272-4622



Children's Brain Tumor Foundation

274 Madison Avenue, Suite 1004

New York, NY 10016

United States

Tel: (212)448-1595

Fax: (212)448-1022

Tel: (866)228-4673



Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, Inc.

6065 Roswell Road Suite 505

Atlanta, GA 30328-4015


Tel: (404)252-4107

Fax: (404)252-4108



Rare Cancer Alliance

1649 North Pacana Way

Green Valley, AZ 85614



Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Tel: (301)251-4925

Fax: (301)251-4911

Tel: (888)205-2311

TDD: (888)205-3223


Madisons Foundation

PO Box 241956

Los Angeles, CA 90024

Tel: (310)264-0826

Fax: (310)264-4766



Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

302 Ridgefield Court

Asheville, NC 28806

Tel: (828)665-6891

Fax: (828)665-6894

Tel: (800)253-6530




American Society of Clinical Oncology

2318 Mill Road Suite 800

Alexandria, VA 22314

Tel: (571)483-1780

Fax: (571)366-9537

Tel: (888)651-3038



Cancer Support Community

1050 17th St NW Suite 500

Washington, DC 20036

Tel: (202)659-9709

Fax: (202)974-7999

Tel: (888)793-9355


Livestrong Foundation

2201 E. Sixth Street

Austin, TX 78702

Tel: (512)236-8820

Fax: (512)236-8482

Tel: (877)236-8820



National Brain Tumor Society

55 Chapel Street

Suite 200

Newton, MA 02458

Tel: (617)924-9997

Fax: (617)924-9998

Tel: (800) 770-8287



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.® (NORD). Cigna members can access the complete report by logging into For non-Cigna members, a copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see