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Docs Find Skull Air Pocket in Man Who Kept Falling Over

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By    |   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 09:13 AM

Doctors found a skull air pocket in an Ireland man's head after he complained of frequent falls, Live Science reported last week.

In a case highlighted in February by BMJ Case Reports, an 84-year-old man admitted himself into the emergency room of a Belfast hospital on advice from his general practitioner after he complained of feeling unsteady and falling for several months.

He later developed weakness in his left arm and leg, but he did not experience any confusion, or weakness in his speech and facial areas, the BMJ Case Reports article said. The man was a nonsmoker and drank rarely, the article continued.

Live Science reported that after the man passed a series of regular tests, he was sent for a CT scan, where doctors discovered a large empty space in his skull, behind his forehead. The large 3.5-inch space made it appear like a portion of the man's brain was missing, the website said.

"Immediately, I could see the abnormality and wondered if the patient had failed to tell us about a previous brain surgery," Dr. Finlay Brown told Live Science.

Live Science wrote that an MRI scan on the man confirmed that the blank space in the man's brain was actually an air pocket in the portion of the brain known as the right frontal lobe. The area controls motor function, problem solving, memory, language, social and sexual behavior, the website said.

The air pocket is known as a pneumatocele and it was compressing his brain tissue, Live Science wrote. Doctors found an osteoma, or benign bone tumor, in a part of the skull that separates the brain from the nasal cavity, called the ethmoid bone, the website said.

Doctors determined that the osteoma wore away part of the ethmoid bone, allowing air to be pushed, under pressure, into his brain, "creating a 'one-way valve' effect," BMJ Case Report said.

The man, who had suffered a small stroke because of the brain air pocket, was treated with a statin and anti-clotting medication instead of attempting surgery because of the risk, Live Science said.

The website said the man "remained well" and regained strength in his left arm and leg after 12 weeks of treatment in the hospital.

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Doctors recently discovered that an Ireland man's skull had air pocket that caused him to keep falling over.
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Tuesday, 13 Mar 2018 09:13 AM
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