Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital today confirmed 76-year-old Senator Ted Kennedy’s seizure were the result of a malignant brain tumor Kennedy, who was hospitalized after suffering a seizure at his family’s compound on Saturday, has not had a repeat incident and is reportedly in good spirits.
According to statements made by the Senator’s doctors, preliminary results indicate, “the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,” the area of brain linked to sensation, movement and language.Malignant glioma is the most common type of primary brain tumor in the United States accounting for more than half of all new diagnosis of a brain tumor condition.
Normal medical treatment is surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible followed by radiation and chemotherapy, although at this stage, Kennedy and his family are still awaiting further testing by doctors before making any treatment decisions. The average life expectancy for this time of tumor is generally 5 years or less.
While seizures can have many root causes, the determination of a brain tumor and the reluctance at this point to suggest a surgical option is cause for concern that it may not in fact be operable.
Reaction amongst Kennedy’s colleagues on Capitol Hill has been a uniform expression of sorrow and shock. Senators were in closed policy sessions when Majority leader Harry Reid made the announcement
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois released the following brief statement:
“Ted Kennedy has spent his life caring for those in need. Now it’s time for those who love Ted and his family to care for them and join in prayer to give them strength.”
Sen. John McCain,Republican presumptive nominee John McCain, characteristically emotional, gave an impromptu statement from his Straight Talk Express expressing his concern for Kennedy, calling him “the last lion” in the Senate and “the most effective Senator for getting things done.” McCain had previously interrupted an interview to take a phone call about Senator Kennedy’s condition and both he and Senator Durbin are well known for partnering with Kennedy on legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act.
Kennedy recently endorsed the presidential candidacy of Senator Barrack Obama.
Clarksville Online will update this information as the the situation develops.