Q. Can brain stem tumors cause trigeminal neuralgia?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Jan 10, 2018 and last reviewed on: Oct 25, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 27 year old female. I am healthy, and my routine blood studies are fine. But recently, I experience cramps in my left hand and occasional numbness in the left side of my face. Also one day, I felt a strong toothache on my right side, so I went to a dentist, who told me there was nothing wrong. So, I guess it was trigeminal neuralgia, but the tooth pain has gone. I still have the cramps and facial numbness, which comes and go. I went to three different physicians, and they all told me it was just stress. Today I saw a neurologist, and he told me that I have no related symptoms to any conditions, but he sent me for an MRI scan just to be safe. The point is, I am freaking out with the idea of having a malignant brain tumor, and I am panicking to get an MRI. Is there any chance that a malignant tumor shows up? I am afraid that my trigeminal neuralgia is caused by a tumor.

Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary

Andrology Geriatrics Psychiatry Psychologist/ Counsellor Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understand your concerns.

  • First of all, I would like to assure you that the none of the described symptoms in your post is indicative of brain tumor. It will not be wrong to say that what you are experiencing is a manifestation of benign disorders such as either anxiety or vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • No brain tumor causes cramps or numbness. Although it is not necessary to undergo brain MRI in your case, I think it is indicated because of irrational fears. Despite the panic attacks, the MRI will help you in coming to terms. This will also establish your faith in the medical system and you doctors, who are trying their level best to convince you about the simple causes of current problems.

I hope this helps you. Feel free to write back to me if you have more questions. Thanks and regards.

For further queries consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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Hello doctor,

Thanks for your kind and quick response. Is trigeminal neuralgia likely to be caused by malignant brain stem tumors? Because I read that, brain tumors are a possible cause of trigeminal neuralgia.

Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary

Andrology Geriatrics Psychiatry Psychologist/ Counsellor Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thanks for reverting.

  • If you ask me the factual information, I agree with you that among the various causes of trigeminal neuralgia, brain tumors are one of them. In such cases, the location of the brain tumor is at the brain stem or cerebellopontine angle, a structure which is located in the posterior part of the brain. I mean to say that what you read somewhere is correct.
  • But practically speaking, I do not think there is any evidence of trigeminal neuralgia. There are some conditions where you get pain for a short period, and it is rightly possible that the severe tooth pain experienced by you was nothing more than idiopathic pain.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia has a distinct nature of pain, and I am sure that your neurologist should have diagnosed it with simple history taking and without the use of any sophisticated investigations.
  • I also like to inform you that MRI is a very sensitive investigation, and it will help you to get a clear picture of your brain.

I hope this helps you further. Thanks and regards.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

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