Brain Cysts Symptoms


Brain cysts symptoms can be difficult to confront and a diagnosis of brain cysts can be very scary for most people. Brain cysts are called neoplasms and may have been present since birth and made up from natural brain matter, or they may represent more serious problems in the brain that need the attention of a neurologist. In either case, the symptoms of a neoplasm can be disruptive and cause problems in everyday life. Symptoms include headaches, changes in mental status, paralysis, balance problems, seizures and vision problems.

Brain scan
Brain scan (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)


According to an article by J. Stephen Huff, MD, on Medscape, headaches are one of the most common early symptoms of brain cysts. For many individuals, the only indication they may have of a brain cyst is that they have frequent headaches. These headaches may be clustered in the same area of the head and happen every day or several times a day. The nature of the headache may be similar to a tension headache and start out as mild and gradually turn more severe with the passage of time.

Man with headache
Man with headache (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Changes in Mental Status

Brain cysts symptoms that involve changes in mental status may be more difficult to pin down precisely, according to the article by J. Stephen Huff, MD. This is because often mental status is related to thought process and personality. Example of changes in mental status include confusion, difficulty in going to sleep or remaining asleep, general apathy and feelings of depersonalization. A person who is feeling depersonalized may describe that they simply do not care about anything any longer or they may talk about feeling as if they are distanced from events or they are outside themselves watching events occur.

Tired man in front of laptop
Tired man in front of laptop (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)


Paralysis symptoms from a brain cyst may be temporary, transient or permanent in nature. Often, brain cysts symptoms of paralysis are the result of the cyst pushing against a motor function region of the brain. Many patients present with symptoms of paralysis that may appear similar to those of a stroke, particularly if the patient is elderly. Paralysis may be localized to a specific muscle structure or part of the body, like a hand, or present to the entire side of the body, depending on the size and location of the cyst.

Doctor looking at hand xray
Doctor looking at hand xray (Image: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Balance Problems

Because brain cysts symptoms often have the superficial appearance of other illnesses, including stroke and Parkinson’s, balance problems may be easily overlooked as a person ages. However, it is important to note if a person is having difficulty walking in a straight line, falls down frequently or appears to have weakness on one side of the body making them more prone to leaning to either side. These can all be symptoms of a brain cyst neoplasm and should be examined by a neurologist.

Man falling down stairs
Man falling down stairs (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)


It is possible for brain cysts symptoms of seizures to be present for many years before detection. Seizures can manifest in a number of different ways. They may present by starting in one area of the body and travelling across or up or down the body as they progress. Usually this is an indication of a cyst that is present in the brain cortex. However, patients who are middle-aged and present with symptoms of seizures that appear similar to stroke should be also checked for a brain cyst. Additionally, individuals who display other significant symptoms of a brain cyst including a seizure should be considered at high risk for brain cyst activity.

Older man being rushed through Emergency Room
Older man being rushed through Emergency Room (Image: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Vision Changes

Changes to vision and gaze can be considered significant when detecting brain cysts symptoms. A change to the upward gaze can be an indicator of a pineal tumor or cyst. In children, loss of vision is often a strong indicator that a brain cyst should be considered and a neurological MRI should be undertaken. In older patients, loss of vision or blurry vision can also be indicators of a brain cyst that is pressing against the ocular nerve or located in the ocular center of the brain.

Man getting an eye exam
Man getting an eye exam (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

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