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BREAKING 5-20-08 Sen Ted Kennedy Diagnosed With Brain Tumor: Could Affect Speech & Memory
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 2:10pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.  From CNN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING POLITICS:  4pm 5-20-08  A hush fell over the halls of the Senate when Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid made the announcement to his colleagues that 76 year old Sen. Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. 

"Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe," according to a statement from the doctors treating the senator.

Malignant glioma is the most common primary brain tumor, accounting for more than half of the 18,000 primary malignant brain tumors diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President Bush was "deeply saddened" by the news and would keep the senator in his prayers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was confident Kennedy would get through his health crisis, saying "Sen. Kennedy has been a fighter all his life." 

"He is a fighter -- a fighter for our children, for our workers, for our seniors... a champion fighting for health care for all Americans."

"I know that that fighting spirit will hold him in good stead in the challenge that he faces now," said Pelosi.

Kennedy had surgery in October to clear his carotid artery in hopes of preventing a stroke.

In recent days, the powerful Democrat appeared in fine health. On Friday, he took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new maritime learning center in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Kennedy's doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital said Tuesday that the preliminary results from the brain biopsy showed a tumor in the left parietal lobe was responsible for the seizure.

According to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is a neurosurgeon, a tumor in that area of the brain could affect the senator's ability to speak and understand speech as well as the strength on the right side of his body.  

he parietal lobes are also responsible for simultaneously interpreting signals from other parts of the brain that focus on vision, hearing, motor, sensory and memory, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Web site. That information, combined with a person's memory, gives meaning to objects.


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