Pseudotumor Cerebri (PC)
What Is Papilledema?
The term “papilledema” refers to a group of symptoms that occur when there is inflammation in the brain or spinal cord. These symptoms are often seen with head injuries, strokes, tumors, and other diseases. They may cause confusion, memory loss, headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures and even death.
These symptoms are usually temporary and resolve themselves without treatment. However they can have long lasting effects such as permanent disability or even death if not treated properly. Some cases of PC do not respond to standard treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs or surgery.
How Common Is Papilledema?
It is estimated that up to one percent of the population experiences some form of papilledema. However, it is rare for these symptoms to last for longer than a few days. In most cases they go away after a period of time without any further treatment. If left untreated, however, they can become chronic and lead to irreversible damage. There are no known causes yet but research into possible factors is ongoing.
Who Is At Risk?
There are several risk factors that make the development of papilledema more likely. These include:
1. Obesity: Research is ongoing in this area but the relationship between being overweight and being diagnosed with papilledema is clear.
It is thought that the excess weight puts more pressure on the veins and arteries causing a blockage to occur. This blockage causes a back up of blood which leads to the symptoms experienced with papilledema. This condition is known as pseudotumor cerebri.
2. Pregnancy: There is an increased risk of developing papilledema during pregnancy due to the increase in blood volume.
3. Gender: Women of childbearing age are at a greater risk of developing this condition due to the hormonal changes that occur.
Sources & references used in this article:
Magnetic resonance imaging in pseudotumor cerebri by MC Brodsky, M Vaphiades – Ophthalmology, 1998 – Elsevier
The incidence of pseudotumor cerebri: population studies in Iowa and Louisiana by FJ Durcan, JJ Corbett, M Wall – Archives of Neurology, 1988 – jamanetwork.com
Revised diagnostic criteria for the pseudotumor cerebri syndrome in adults and children by DI Friedman, GT Liu, KB Digre – Neurology, 2013 – AAN Enterprises
Symptoms and disease associations in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri): a case‐control study by V Giuseffi, M Wall, PZ Siegel, PB Rojas – Neurology, 1991 – AAN Enterprises
Pseudotumor cerebri: clinical profile and visual outcome in 63 patients. by JA Rush – Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 1980 – europepmc.org
Lumboperitoneal shunting for pseudotumor cerebri by RA Burgett, VA Purvin, A Kawasaki – Neurology, 1997 – AAN Enterprises
Pseudotumor cerebri by JE AHLSKOG, BP O’NEILL – Annals of Internal Medicine, 1982 – acpjournals.org