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Symptoms of a Medulloblastoma

Since medulloblastomas usually develop near the fourth ventricle, they frequently disrupt the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and create pressure inside the skull, a condition known as hydrocephalus.  In very young children (under age 3), hydrocephalus may cause the skull to bulge. More typical symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Morning headache (which often goes away after vomiting)
  • Irritability, or changes in personality or behavior
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Problems with walking and balance
  • Double vision

Most children who have headaches or nausea don’t have brain tumors, of course. But any child showing neurological symptoms such as those listed above should be seen by a pediatrician for a checkup. When a tumor is suspected, the child should be evaluated by an experienced neurosurgeon for an accurate diagnosis (see Diagnosing and Treating a Medulloblastoma).

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Reviewed by: Caitlin Hoffman, M.D.
Last reviewed/last updated: June 2017