What is DIPG

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

  

DIPG is a tumour located in the middle of the brain stem. The brain stem is the bottommost portion of the brain, connecting the cerebrum with the spinal cord. The majority of brain stem tumours occur in the pons and are diffusely infiltrating (they grow amidst the nerves), and therefore cannot be surgically removed. 

Symptoms of DIPG

Problems with eye movement, difficulty looking to the side, double vision because of the loss of alignment of eyes, drooping eyelids and inability to close the eyes completely.

· Facial weakness.

· Hearing problems.

· Trouble chewing or swallowing (not only swallowing food and water even own saliva), gagging while eating.

· Limb weakness, difficulty standing or walking, abnormal gaits, unbalanced limbs movements.

· Headache.

· Nausea and vomiting from brain swelling or hydrocephalu. (hydrocephalus is a condition in which the flow of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain is blocked), causing an increase in pressure inside the skull. 


DIPG Symptom Management and End of Life Care (dipgregistery.org)


The symptoms below increase from time of progression to the end of life, ultimately affecting the quality of life.

· Constipation.

· Headache (headache and seizures).

· Pain.

· Nausea/Vomiting.

· Anxiety.

· Sleeping disturbance/Fatigue.

· Communication Difficulties (verbal and non-verbal).

· Passing of urine.

· Secretions.

· Breathing problems.

· Decrease in food and fluid intake.


There is no known cause of DIPG, but it only occurs in young children. There has been research happening for DIPG. but not enough, at the moment, to find a cure. 


A child diagnosed with DIPG today faces the same prognosis as a child diagnosed 40 years ago. Unfortunately, there is no chance of survival. 

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