How Your Brain Works
I am a patient that is exasperated from trying to understand what is going on with my body and how my Arachnoid Cysts affects my health. I have come up with some answers after doing a lot of research and through 16 years of experiences I have had trying to relate my own issues. In order to understand what the cyst is doing to your body you must understand the layers of the brain and their functions and why they can only remove an Arachnoid Cyst with laser surgery if it is NOT classified as a sub arachnoid cyst. MEDLINE contains a wealth of info and I put all my powers of observations into one cohesive work in order to help you understand better. If you click on the underlined words then they will take you into definitions from a medical website.
Your brain swims in three membranes. The first outer layer of the brain is the Dura Mater. The next layer is the arachnoid membrane, called the arachnoid because of it's spider web appearance where cerebral spinal fluid flows (the blood of the brain that is basically protein) so neurons can flow from your brain to your spinal cord which also gets blood into the brain through the sub arachnoid space, as well as through paths to the cranial nerves. The Pia Mater is the root of your nervous system (think of the root of a plant) which supplies the brain with blood and connects via the arachnoid trabecula.
When you have a cyst blocking the messages from the brain to the spinal cord and the electric signal and energy can't flow through properly you may start to notice cognitive, emotional or physical problems. Examples such as getting lost down your street, inexplicable and explosive temper tantrums or dropping a glass. This is age relative and the data for children's reactions is inconclusive. The arachnoid and Pia membranes are the connective tissue (the leg bone's connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bones connected to the hip bone, the hip bone's connected to your nervous system... you get it, right?) which is why I feel this is, indeed, a connective tissue disorder which is why several of the adults are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or Lupus.
An Arachnoid Cyst is nestled between the Dura and Pia Maters. If you can find a good surgeon you should have laser surgery to completely remove the cyst from your brain; however when the cyst is sub-arachnoid they can't go in and cut it out because of the chances of hemmorage and paralyzation. Most conditions involving the Pia mater eventually cause the patient to be paralyzed which is why stem cell research is necessary- so that hopefully one day they can heal these afflictions.
Which symptoms you have depends on where your cyst is. Some people remain "asymptomatic", but once you become "symptomatic" your life becomes a living hell. Some people do not suffer from pain at all. I am under the conclusion that Arachnoid Cysts are extremely dangerous to your mental health and general well being because you are always fighting the pain you are in; it makes it difficult to control other aspects of your life, such as communicating. These things can cause more ailments such as Multiple Sclerosis, Syringomyelia, Lupus and many other auto immune diseases, and if congenital there could be signs of spinal problems.
I'll start with an example. You know that tingling sensation you have after using the keyboard? I think all of us have that. It's called Neuropathic pain. You don't notice it because your head hurts too much to notice your nerves or you think it's carpel tunnel- and it's not. Then you start to notice small things, like having bruises that you can't explain, hurting yourself & not feeling the pain. Or having an inhuman tolerance for pain like breaking your ankle and walking on it broken (now that was a brain damaged thing to do!).