sailor girlWhat is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a condition caused by the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain resulting from the failure of normal circulation and/or absorption of CSF.

It is usually controlled by surgically implanting a flexible tube called a shunt into the brain cavity. The shunt controls the flow of spinal fluid and drains it into another region of the body to be reabsorbed. This reduces the pressure on the brain. Without treatment, permanent brain damage or even death may occur. With treatment, an individual's intellect and lifespan is similar to that of other family members.

What Causes Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus can be caused by a variety of medical problems. It can be present at birth, as a result of a congenital defect. For example, hydrocephalus may occur along with spina bifida, aqueductal obstruction, aracnoid cysts, or Dandy-Walker Syndrome. Acquired hydrocephalus may occur at any time during a person's life as a result of intraventricular hemorrage, meningitis, head injury, tumours, or an unknown cause.

What are the Effects of Hydrocephalus?

The high pressures experienced by the brain can have lasting effects, both short and long term, on individuals with Hydrocephalus. These effects include impaired vision, headaches, sensitivity to changes in external pressure, hearing sensitivity, hormonal imbalance and seizures.

Is There a Cure?

No. However, it can be treated by implantation of a shunt.

Other medical conditions usually associated with Hydrocephalus

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