sailor girlHydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is the abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. In most instances, hydrocephalus is a lifelong condition in that the patient is treated rather than "cured". Presently, there is no known way to prevent or cure hydrocephalus and shunts are the primary method to treat hydrocephalus. The one-way calibrated shunt system was introduced in 1952.

Treatment by shunting the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to another area of the body, generally allows patients to lead full and active lives. There are different kinds and models of shunting systems. Although, shunts were a major medical breakthrough, there are problems that still remain unsolved in the treatment of hydrocephalus, such as shunt obstruction and infection.

An overwhelming majority of newborns with hydrocephalus will have a normal life span and normal or even superior intelligence. In addition, they will enjoy normal activities and be useful members of society. However, there are complications associated with hydrocephalus with learning disabilities being one of the most prevalent.

In most cases, hydrocephalus is not hereditary.

Types of Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is a condition that can exist during one of two stages. It can be congenital, when the condition exists at birth or acquired, when it occurs as the result of a trauma to the brain after birth.

Forms of Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus exists in two forms; communicating (non-obstructive hydrocephalus) caused by inadequate absorption of CSF when the ventricular pathways are not obstructed or noncommunicating (obstructive hydrocephalus) caused by blockage in the ventricular pathways through which CSF flows.

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