Hydrocephalus means “water on the brain”. It is a condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. It causes the brain to swell, increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain.
Facts about Hydrocephalus
Causes of Hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus is caused by increased volume of CSF in brain. Volume of CSF may increase due to any of the following reasons:
Causes of hydrocephalus that starts before a baby is born:
Causes of hydrocephalus in infants, toddlers, and older children due to:
Risk factors of Hydrocephalus
Individuals with following factors are at higher risk of developing hydrocephalus:
Symptoms of Hydrocephalus
It is very important to recognise hydrocephalus symptoms as early as possible due to its probability of causing permanent brain damage. Its symptoms are different are different stages of life and may include following according to age of the patient:
Symptoms of Hydrocephalus in Infants
Symptoms of Hydrocephalus in Toddlers and Older Children
Symptoms of Hydrocephalus in Young and Middle-Aged Adults
Symptoms of Hydrocephalus in Older adults Hydrocephalus in older individuals above 60 years of age is called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). Its symptoms include:
Diagnosis of Hydrocephalus
Diagnosis of hydrocephalus requires thorough physical and neurological examination of the patient along with look out for any symptoms associated with hydrocephalus. In addition to this, following diagnostic tests may help the physician to confirm the diagnosis:
Treatment of Hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus is a fatal condition that should be treated as early as possible to prevent serious complications. Although treatment may not reverse the damage done to brain but it can definitely prevent further brain damage. Treatment may include any of the following:
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