Trigeminal schwannoma is a rare type of tumor that originates from the Schwann cells.
The trigeminal nerve, also known as the fifth cranial nerve, is responsible for transmitting sensations from the face to the brain.
A schwannoma on the trigeminal nerve can cause various symptoms: facial pain, numbness or tingling on one side of the face, muscle weakness or twitching, difficulty moving the jaw or mouth, hearing loss, and changes in vision in some cases.
Nearly all patients develop numbness and pain in the trigeminal distribution, in trigeminal schwannoma, and about 40% have some weakness in the muscles of mastication.
True trigeminal neuralgia is uncommon.
Extension of the tumor into the posterior fossa is associated with seventh and eighth nerve dysfunction and cerebellar and pyramidal tract signs.
Diagnoses of a trigeminal schwannoma: medical history, neurological examination, imaging tests and sometimes a biopsy to confirm the tumor’s nature.
Treatment options include: observation, surgical removal, radiation therapy, or a combination of these approaches.