Germ Cell Brain Tumors | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of germ cell brain tumors?

Brain tumors can cause a variety of symptoms in children based primarily on the location of the tumor. 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 persistent symptoms.

Symptoms of germ cell brain tumors typically depend on where they have developed in the brain. For tumors in the pineal gland region, children can have the following symptoms:

  • hydrocephalus (swelling of the brain)
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • behavioral or cognitive changes
  • uncoordinated body movement (ataxia)
  • vision changes, including double vision and difficulty looking up

For tumors in the suprasellar or pituitary gland region, common symptoms include:

What causes germ cell brain tumors?

The cause of germ cell brain tumors is not well known. Usually, germ cells migrate to the gonads during fetal development and become an egg in the female ovaries or sperm in the male testes. However, when these germ cells don’t move to the right area, they become trapped in the brain and multiply in areas where they shouldn’t. It’s important to understand that these and other brain tumors most often occur with no known cause.