Meningioma Specialist

David Newell, MD

Cerebrovascular, Spinal, and Brain Tumor Neurosurgery located in Bellevue, WA

A loss of memory, hearing, or vision could indicate a meningioma, a type of brain tumor. David Newell, MD is an award-winning neurologist experienced in diagnosing and treating complex brain disorders, including tumors. To find the highest quality meningioma treatment, call Dr. Newell’s Seattle, Washington, office or schedule an appointment online today.

Meningioma Q & A

What is a meningioma?

A meningioma is a type of brain tumor located in the dura, part of the meninges membranes that surround your spinal cord and brain. These types of brain tumors are primary tumors, meaning they originate in your brain.

There are three classifications for meningiomas, including:

  • Grade I - Benign: noncancerous
  • Grade II - Atypical: not benign or malignant, somewhere in between
  • Grade III - Malignant (anaplastic): spreads aggressively into the brain  

Approximately 75-80% of meningiomas are benign, and only 1-4% are malignant.

What causes meningiomas?

Meningiomas can affect people of any age, even children, but they’re most common in older women. Their exact cause isn’t known; however, because they’re more common in women, female hormones may play a role in their development. There may also be a link between breast cancer and meningioma risks.

Additional meningioma causes include radiation therapy to the head and a rare inherited nervous system disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2.

What are the symptoms of a meningioma?

Meningiomas can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Severe headaches, either constant or intermittent
  • Blurry vision or seeing double
  • Hearing loss or ringing in the ears
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of smell
  • Weakness in your arms or legs
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of consciousness, often with a headache
  • Seizures

In most cases, meningioma symptoms appear slowly over time.

How is a meningioma diagnosed and treated?

During your appointment, Dr. Newell performs a full physical and neurological exam, discusses your symptoms, and reviews your medical history. Based on his assessment, Dr. Newell might also perform digital imaging tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI of your brain. To rule out other types of brain tumors and confirm your diagnosis, Dr. Newell conducts a biopsy to test the tumor cells.

Some meningiomas don’t require immediate treatment. Based on your diagnosis, Dr. Newell may suggest:

  • A wait-and-see approach, closely monitoring your meningioma
  • Surgical removal of the tumor or a portion thereof
  • Radiosurgery, or Gamma Knife® surgery, to deliver radiation directly to the tumor

When a meningioma doesn’t respond to surgery or radiation, Dr. Newell may recommend chemotherapy, but this isn’t a traditional treatment for these types of brain tumors.

If you’re experiencing persistent meningioma symptoms or headaches that concern you, call David Newell, MD or schedule an appointment online.