The objectives related to my steam project is to compare and contrast the peripheral and central nervous system and compare and contrast the various nervous tissues and cells. The brain is part of the central nervous system and is located in the cranial cavity. The cranial cavity is made by a hard nonflexible skull and has little room to accommodate a growing mass. Tumors that grow in the brain, whether benign or malignant, or an accumulation of any substance within the skull is never good because of this limited space. Once there is no more room for the growth to be accommodated, intracranial pressure starts to build up. Intracranial pressure building up can cause extreme pain, and optic nerve damage. More seriously it can also crush brain tissue, cut off blood vessels, and even push part of the brain through the hole in the base of the skull called the foramen magnum where the spinal cord connects to the brain which causes irreversible brain stem damage. These complications can cause brain damage, stroke, paralysis, coma, and death.
Ependymoma is a type of glioma(brain tumor). They are a rare tumor that is most common in children under ten. Ependymoma accounts for eight to ten percent of brain tumors in that age group as opposed to 1.7% of brain tumors in all ages. Ependymomas occur in the ependymal cells that make up the ependyma that lines the central canal of the spinal cord or in the ependymal cells of the ependyma of the cerebral ventricle. In children, ependymomas most often occur near the cerebellum in the ependyma around the 4th ventricle, either in the 4th ventricle or in the cerebral aqueduct. If an ependymoma in this area grows to a sufficient size it can block the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. With the 4th ventricle area blocked or severely restricted cerebrospinal fluid can not continue its circulation and will begin to build up in the 3rd ventricle and the lateral ventricles also known as the 2nd and 1st ventricles. This buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the cerebral ventricle is known as intraventricular obstructive hydrocephalus, also known as non-communicating hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus means, in Latin, water on the brain. This aptly describes the condition of cerebrospinal fluid building up in the brain. The cerebrospinal fluid slowly accumulates and builds up intracranial pressure. Which as shown earlier in the essay is bad.
The first sketch shows an MRI of a healthy tumor and hydrocephalus free brain from the sagittal view. The brain, cerebral ventricles, cerebral aqueduct, and cerebellum are labeled. The second sketch shows an Mri of an otherwise healthy brain with the formation of an ependymoma. The ventricles, the ependymoma, and the cerebellum are labeled. The third sketch shows a sagittal brain MRI of a brain with obstructive hydrocephalus. The lateral, 3rd, 4th ventricle, and cerebral aqueduct are all enlarged with the buildup of the cerebrospinal fluid in the brain from the ependymoma caused blockage. The ventricles, the aqueduct, and the cerebellum are labeled. The fourth sketch shows a CT scan from the axial view of a brain with obstructive hydrocephalus. The ventricles are labeled.
Ependymomas and hydrocephalus helps with a deeper understanding of the objectives by showing how hydrocephalus affects and harms the CNS. Ependymomas go into understanding nervous tissue by talking about the tumor’s tissue type, and help with understanding the CNS and how the tumor blockage affects the ventricles and the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid.
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