Craniopharyngioma | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of craniopharyngioma?

Brain tumors can cause a variety of symptoms in children based primarily on the location of the tumor, including:

  • Impaired hormone function: As the tumor grows near the pituitary gland and affects hormone production, there can be a fall-off in a child’s normal growth rate, excessive drinking and urinating, and delayed or early puberty due to damage to the pituitary gland.
  • Increased brain pressure: As the tumor grows larger, it can cause obstructions that block the outflow of spinal fluid. This leads to a buildup of spinal fluid in the brain and causes increased pressure, leading to headache, nausea and vomiting. These are all symptoms of hydrocephalus, which is caused by this fluid buildup inside the brain.
  • Loss of vision: The tumor can put pressure on the nerves of the eyes, which can lead to vision loss in one or both eyes. Some children are diagnosed when they fail a school vision exam.

Keep in mind that the symptoms of a brain tumor may resemble other more common conditions or medical problems. It is important to consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

What are the causes of craniopharyngioma?

As a parent, you undoubtedly want to know what may have caused your child’s tumor. It’s important to understand that these and other brain tumors most often occur with no known cause. There’s nothing that you could have done or avoided doing that would have prevented the tumor from developing.