The word ‘Hydrocephalus’ is the situation where there is an exceptional enlargement of the brain ventricles (cavities) due to the aggregation of cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF). Cerebro-spinal fluid is a clear fluid captivated by the brain. This CSF distribute from the brain cavity system and thereafter from the subarachnoid space neighboring the spinal cord and brain. CSF cultivates and conserves both the spinal cord and brain. Damaged to the brain is generate if hydrocephalus is left untreated. It has been view that hydrocephalus is more natural in child and adults who are 60 or above. According to some professional, normal pressure hydrocephalus accounts for 5-6% of all dementia cases.
Hydrocephalus can be categorized into following types –
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH): This type of hydrocephalus is usually noticed in adults who are 60 or above. NPH occurs when the amount of cerebro-spinal fluid increases in the ventricles of the brain with no or little increase in the pressure within the head.
Communicating or Non-obstructive Hydrocephalus: This type of hydrocephalus occurs when there is insufficient cerebro-spinal fluid absorption.
Non-communicating or Obstructive Hydrocephalus: This type occurs when there is a blockage of cerebro-spinal fluid in the ventricular system.
Congenital Hydrocephalus: This type of hydrocephalus can occur due to environmental influences at the time of fetal development or also due to genetic factors. It can develop either before or soon after birth.
The mechanisms behind normal pressure hydrocephalus are unknown
Infection such as meningitis
Previous posterior fossa surgery
Congenital infections such as toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus and rubella.
Dandy-Walker syndrome: A condition where there is enlarged ventricle caused by obstruction in the pathway.
Internal bleeding in the brain or hemorrhage
Arteriovenous malformation such as vein of Galenc
Chiari malformations (type 1 and 2)
Neural tube defects (NTDs) and Spina bifida
Infections such as cerebral abscess
Malignant or benign tumors may result in blockage of CSF flow
Medication- Infiximab infusion may cause communicating hydrocephalus
Congenital aqueductal stenosis
Malignant or benign brain tumors
Infection such as cerebral abscess and bacterial meningitis
Leukemic infiltrates of CNS
An increased venous sinus pressure associated with venous thrombosis, craniostenosis and achondroplasia
Hydrocephalus symptoms depend upon the stage of hydrocephalus condition and the age of the child at the time of diagnosis.
Severe headaches associated with vomiting and nausea
Sleepiness or chronic lethargy
Sudden changes in personality
Difficulty in focusing and remembering
Poor physical coordination
Double or blurred vision
Problems with balance
Difficulty in walking or standing
Halted or slow development progress in reasoning and speech.
Bouts of irritability with no specific reason
Difficulty in looking upward when the head is facing forward
Swelling of the Optic disc in the optic nerve of the eye
Unusual large head size
Severe and frequent episodes of vomiting
A sudden increase in the head size
Unable to look upward while the head is facing forward
Diagnosis of Hydrocephalus is done by performing following tests –
The treatment for hydrocephalus depends upon the underlying cause. However the treatment includes –
Wait and see approach: When hydrocephalus is found by casualty like at the time of MRI or CT scan inquiry done for some other problem and is not appear in any manifestation. In this case there is a particular treatment for hydrocephalus. Only concerned examination and check is appropriate.
Medication: For instance, at the time of disease antibiotics are given. Surgery is mandatory for clearing up the disease when it do not resolve the hydrocephalus.
Surgery: The surgical proceeding for hydrocephalus can clear away the motivation of the blockage. When there is a situation of provisional hydrocephalus, a specialist may insert a small catheter so as to facilitate the fluid to drain out while the authentic element such as bleeding has time to intention. In the case of inveterate hydrocephalus, a shunt (a permanent tube) is inserted to ditch out the exuberance fluid.
Shunt injection proceeding is treated as the most simple surgical strategy for treating hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain). A shunt is essentially a gadget which helps in diverting fluid from the brain into the intestinal cavity and it consume there carefully into the blood stream. The shunt proceeding is behave in the same way in adults, infants and children. During ventricular shunt surgery, a shunt (a thin tube) is implanted inside the brain. The exuberance CSF in the brain tours from this shunt to another body part generally in the midsection. The fluid is then captivated in the blood stream. In order to control the CSF progress, there is a valve within the shunt. This valve also safeguard that the fluid doe not drain immediately.