What's up, brain-havers!? Feeling a little less-than-fresh? Maybe a slight headache? Something not quite right up in the dome? Well, you could be dehydrated. That's probably it. Did you drink any water today? You know I told you you should drink more water! Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes when I can't sleep it's because I didn't get enough exercise that day. It could be that. You know what my mom's friend Sheila does? She just goes for a 15-minute power walk around the block on her morning break. Everyone can find 15 minutes, you know. That's what Dr. Oz says. No? You don't think that's it? Well, I guess you could have a GIANT SACK OF MONSTER TEETH GROWING INSIDE YOUR BRAIN AND CHEWING ON YOUR MEMORIES.
(Oh, or it could be brain maggots. Always good to cover all your bases.)
Doctors at a Maryland hospital became concerned about the health of a 4-month-old baby when they found that his head was growing abnormally fast (right up front, let's clarify that THE BABY IS DOING FINE). After a scan revealed what looked like several fully-formed human teeth inside the infant's brain, doctors diagnosed him with craniopharyngioma, an extremely rare type of brain tumor similar (superficially, at least, in this case) to a teratoma. In other words, THEY WERE TEETH. TEETH IN THE BRAIN. BRAIN-TOOTH. LI'L BABY TOOTH-BRAIN.
Via Live Science:
"It's not every day you see teeth in any type of tumor in the brain. In a craniopharyngioma, it's unheard of," Beaty said.
Craniopharyngiomas commonly contain calcium deposits, "but when we pulled out a full tooth...I think that's something slightly different," Beaty told Live Science.
Teeth have been found in people's brains before, but only in tumors known as teratomas, which are unique among tumors because they contain all three of the tissue types found in an early-stage human embryo, Beaty said. In contrast, craniopharyngiomas have only one layer of tissue.
The boy's case provides more evidence that craniopharyngiomas do indeed develop from the cells that make teeth, Beaty said.
The 4-month-old patient is doing just fine, according to doctors, although the tumor destroyed some of his brain's hormone-regulation function and he'll need lifelong hormone treatments. That's shitty, for sure, but it seems like a relatively mild consequence considering the circumstances. So speedy recovery, little one! And if those doctors don't give you your brain-teeth to wear on THE WORLD'S MOST BADASS HEMP NECKLACE when you become a surly teen, you send them to me. My friend's doctor threw away her teratoma before she could look at it, and I might never forgive medical science.
Craniopharyngiomas are most often found in children between the ages of 5 and 14, but you probably still have one anyway.
Image via the New England Journal of Medicine.