Meningeal leukemia

Understanding Meningeal Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, and is caused by the overproduction of abnormal white blood cells. Meningeal leukemia is a type of leukemia that affects the meninges – the thin lining that covers the brain and spinal cord. While leukemia is present in the meninges, it is typically considered a complication of an existing leukemia or lymphoma.

Meningeal leukemia can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in people age 30-50.

Symptoms of Meningeal Leukemia

Symptoms of meningeal leukemia can vary from person to person, but may include:

  • headache
  • neck stiffness
  • memory problems
  • behavioral changes
  • vision problems
  • seizures
  • nausea/vomiting

In some cases, meningeal leukemia can lead to hydrocephalus, a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Meningeal Leukemia

Meningeal leukemia is diagnosed through tests such as a spinal tap or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment typically includes chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medications to manage symptoms or side effects of the disease. These can include pain medications, anti-nausea medications, and anticonvulsants. In addition, patients may benefit from medications that can help to increase white blood cell counts and boost the immune system.

It is important for patients to work with their doctor to find the best treatment plan for their individual needs.