A 4-month-old male infant in Maryland is probably the first person to have had teeth form in his brain. The teeth were formed as a result of a rare brain tumor, according to a news report.
The tumor has been removed from the brain and doctors confirm that the infant's condition is stable.
At the beginning, doctors suspected something unnatural as the child's head grew faster than children of his age. A brain scan revealed that the boy suffered from tumor with structure similar to that of teeth.
Brain surgery was performed on the child, during which the doctors realized that the tumor contained many fully form teeth like structures.
An analysis of the tumor revealed that the child had Craniopharyngioma, a rare brain tumor that can grow larger than a golf ball that do not spread to other parts of the body.
"Researchers had always suspected that these tumors form from the same cells involved in making teeth, but until now, doctors had never seen actual teeth in these tumors," said Dr Narlin Beaty, a neurosurgeon at the University of Maryland, who performed the child's surgery along with his colleague, Dr Edward Ahn of Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
"It's not every day that you see teeth in any type of tumor in the brain. In a Craniopharyngioma, it's unheard of. Craniopharyngiomas commonly contain calcium deposits, but when we pulled out a full tooth, I think that's something slightly different," Live Science quoted Beaty saying.
Check out for the images of the 'teeth': a rare brain tumor here
Earlier, teeth have been found in human, like the tumor teratomas, which is a unique tumor containing three types of early-stage human embryo tissue. But unlike teratomas, Craniopharyngiomas contain a single layer of tissue. These types of tumors are diagnosed in children aged 5-14, but are rare in children younger than 2, according to the National Cancer Institute.
"He's doing extremely well, all things considered," Beaty said. "This was a big tumor right in the center of his brain. Before the moderate surgical era, this child would not have survived," Beaty said.
The details of the finding have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.