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Dr. F
Dr. F, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 266
Experience:  Neurosurgeon with more than 20 years experience in practice and teaching.
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My son, 9, has a large arachnoid cyst on his frontal lobe,

Customer Question

My son, 9, has a large arachnoid cyst on his frontal lobe, which was discovered by ct scan after a fall back in May. I have been describing him as being lovely, but kind of unusual since he was a baby. I can't even describe how his behaviour was unusual, but I used to Google the symptoms of autism all the time, knowing full well he didn't have it because he was so interactive etc.He has had issues with day and night wetting since we potty trained him. He would still be just a tiny bit wet most days. He has had kidney ultrasound and bloods done and all ok. He is a great speller and reader but is bad on the whole at forming sentences and makes grammar mistakes often in his speech. To me his issues never made sense. It's like he's a very bright kid in some ways and then the opposite in others. He gets frustrated trying to communicate at times and gives up. I discovered last night that he also has 1 curled toe on each foot. Can't believe I hadn't noticed before. When he was younger he had several scary episodes of night terrors and about 4 times as a tiny baby had incidents of literally freaking out (going from calm to screaming in terror) for about 30 seconds. He also crawled, very fast, from 7 months but didn't walk until 17 months. When he started putting weight on his feet, it was just on his toes for a while. He then had a bit of a speech issue at 3 or so where he was saying words but was hard to make out and replaced the f sound with p. He went to speech therapy for that, and whilst that replacement wasn't unheard of, it is pretty unusual. There's more anomalies I can think of too.From the limited amount I have read online about cysts I think that most, if not all of these things are related to the cyst, even if he's not experiencing the typical negative symptoms like headaches etc. Would you agree that this is likely?I am based in the UK and so I know you can't say for sure if a neurologist here would act on these symptoms, but would you recommend action? Endoscopic fenestration or shunting?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 4 months ago.

This is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 4 months ago.

most arachnoid cysts in the brain are benign and don't cause problems with development or personality disorders or developmental delays

it sounds like your son is developing normally

an MRI scan would be needed of the brain to see more around the cyst and see if there is pressure on the normal brain tissues

but I suspect there will not be pressure to the normal brain tissues

and I suspect that intervention is not needed.

you can have his GP doctor refer him for neurological evaluation and more testing if you want to

but I suspect that the cyst can be watched safely

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You haven't told me anything more than I could have obtained from Google. I wanted to get a response from a neurologist for this reason.
I am annoyed that I explained the, admittedly minor, ways my son's development has been abnormal, and you reduced that to basically glossing over it. No child is straightforward, I get that, and they all have issues, but his have been unusual issues. I have been aware that he's not neurotypical for years and so when i found out about the cyst it all made sense almost. But i can't help feeling that his life would be improved without it. I don't consider him asymptomatic. I have worries about the impact this cyst might have on his future. He is already an anxious child and cysts in the same place are thought to be linked to depression and other mental illness.I won't get a chance to speak to a neurologist in person for at least 5 weeks, so that is why I came here. It's safe to say I'm not happy with the response.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 4 months ago.

I am happy to review images of your child's brain CT scan to look at the cyst

you haven't even uploaded the report of the CT scan

I can't examine or interact with your son either

so there are limits to what doctors can do online to give opinions about scans we can't see and children we can't examine.