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Posterior fossa syndrome

Posterior fossa syndrome develops in around 25% of children with medulloblastoma, with symptoms generally appearing one to three days after surgery.

What is posterior fossa syndrome?

Your child’s neurosurgeon will explain the risks associated with surgery on their medulloblastoma, including a condition known as posterior fossa syndrome. Surgery in the areas to the rear of the skull, also known as the posterior fossa or cerebellum, can cause long lasting negative effects in children. These effects include loss of muscle tone, memory troubles, unsteadiness, and decreased ability to talk. These effects are collectively known as Cerebellar Mutism Syndrome (CMS) or Posterior Fossa Syndrome.

Symptoms can continue for months to years and can vary from child to child. The following symptoms are only a guide, but may include:

  • weakness in one side of the body
  • loss of speech
  • difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • facial paralysis on one side
  • poor balance (ataxia)

Current research

Mr Mallucci and his team aim to further understand Cerebellar Mutism Syndrome (CMS), aka Posterior Fossa Syndrome, to help reduce the number of children affected by it and improve management of this condition.

If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:
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A member of our Support & Information Team provides support over the phone to somebody affected by a brain tumour diagnosis

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