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Yes, they can. Brain tumors often cause personality changes and sudden mood swings. Although these mood changes and their severity will vary from one person to another, it’s relatively common for someone with a brain tumor to experience increased:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability

Oftentimes, someone with a brain tumor will have difficulty relating to other people. For example, brain tumor patients may have trouble identifying emotions in other people (as well as in themselves). Individuals with a brain tumor may also start behaving in a way that’s socially or culturally inappropriate, as if they’ve lost their inhibitions or sense of restraint.

How do brain tumors cause mood changes?

Brain tumor symptoms can include personality changes and mood swings when the tumors press on a person’s brain or cause the brain to swell. Mood changes are commonly associated with brain tumors located in the frontal lobe, since that part of the brain is highly involved in regulating personality and behavior. The temporal lobe also controls a person’s behavior and emotions. Additionally, tumors affecting the pituitary gland can affect someone’s mood, since they can cause the gland to under- or overproduce hormones, leading to an imbalance.

In addition to a brain tumor’s physical impact on a person’s mood, a brain tumor diagnosis can greatly affect someone’s mental and emotional state. Plus, personality changes and mood swings can result from chemotherapy and other types of cancer treatments.

Get the answers you need

If you have additional questions about brain tumor personality changes, or about brain tumors in general, you can turn to the experts at Moffitt Cancer Center. Our Neuro-Oncology Program’s brain tumor team includes neurologists, medical oncologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuropsychologists and neuropathologists, all of whom work together to develop individualized treatment plans for our patients.

check mark symbol Medically reviewed by Dr. Arnold Etame, neurosurgeon, Neuro-Oncology Program.

To request a consultation with one of the specialists at Moffitt Cancer Center, call us at 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online.