Doctors in Japan accidentally discovered during a surgery that their teenage patient's ovary has developed its own skull and brain.
A 16-year old girl had her appendix removed but the doctors who performed her surgery accidentally discovered a tumor forming on her ovary.
When the doctors cut the tumor, they found clumps of greasy hair inside a brain-like structure with a layer of skull bone.
It turned out that the specimen resembles a brain's cerebellum complete with its own brain stem.
This case may be unusual but it's not impossible. One fifth of ovarian tumors are known to have foreign forms in them including hair, teeth, cartilage, fat and muscle. These kind of tumors are called teratomas and are known to be benign.
It's also known that brain cells can be found in teratomas, but a well-formed, brain-like teratoma is extremely rare.
“Neural elements similar to that of the central nervous system are frequently reported in ovarian teratomas, but structures resembling the adult brain are rare," stated Angelique Riepsamen of University of New South Wales in Australia.
To make it more unusual, these brain-like tumors can even transmit electrical signals between its neurons, explained by Masayuki Shintaku at the Shiga Medical Centre for Adults in Japan.
The thing we want to avoid in these cases is when the immune system will attack the neurons in the tumor which could also lead to an attack on the actual brain.
If that happens, neurological symptoms like personality changes, paranoid thoughts, confusion, agitation, seizures or memory loss can set in.
The tumor just have to be removed as soon as possible to prevent a debilitating effect on the patient.
The doctors did just that to the 16-year old's ovarian tumor. None of the symptoms showed up. The teenager has recovered well after the surgery.
The journal for this case is published in Neuropathology
See: Doctor Discovered Woman's Tooth Growing Under Her Eye!