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Our expert neurosurgery team is committed to providing the finest and most comprehensive patient care. For help finding a neurosurgeon, call 310-825-5111.

About Glioma

Glioma: Symptoms, Treatment and Diagnosis

A glioma is a primary brain tumor that originates from the supportive cells of the brain, called glial cells. Glial cells are the most common cellular component of the brain. There are five to 10 times more glial cells than neurons.

  • There are three principle types of glial cells: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and ependymal cells.
  • Unlike neurons, glial cells have the ability to divide and multiply. If this process occurs too rapidly and without control, a glioma forms.
  • Different gliomas form from different glial cells:
    • Tumors with characteristics of abnormal astrocytes are called astrocytomas. More than three quarters of all gliomas are astrocytomas.
    • Other types of gliomas are the oligodendroglioma and ependymoma.
    • In some cases, tumors can have mixed features and therefore be named mixed glioma (oligoastrocytoma, for example).

Glioma Treatment

  • Because glioma encompasses such a broad range of tumor types and grades (benign versus malignant), this question can be better answered for individual tumor types:
  • UCLA is one of the few hospitals to have operating rooms equipped with intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.
  • Intra-operative MRI allows our neurosurgeons to determine whether any residual tumor is present prior to closing the wound, therefore enabling more complete resections.

Brain Tumor Program at UCLA >

The Neuro-ICU cares for patients with all types of neurosurgical and neurological injuries, including stroke, brain hemorrhage, trauma and tumors. We work in close cooperation with your surgeon or medical doctor with whom you have had initial contact. Together with the surgeon or medical doctor, the Neuro-ICU attending physician and team members direct your family member's care while in the ICU. The Neuro-ICU team consists of the bedside nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians in specialty training (Fellows) and attending physicians. UCLA Neuro ICU Family Guide