What is?


Hydrocephalus is an abnormal (excessive) accumulation of fluid in the head.

Symptoms vary
depending on the
individual’s age and
the type of hydrocephalus.
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Doctors use
a range of techniques
including scans and CSF analysis
to confirm hydrocephalus.
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All treatments are
surgical and aim
to control the drainage
of excess cerebrospinal fluid.
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Following treatment
it is vital to stay alert
for any signs that symptoms
may be returning.
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Types of


Normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), sometimes called idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH), usually affects older people, and often occurs gradually, making it harder to identify. The build-up of CSF enlarges the ventricles in the brain but does so with little or no increase in intracranial pressure. 


Acquired hydrocephalus can happen to children or adults of any age and, depending on the cause, may be temporary. It most often occurs after a traumatic event like a brain injury that releases blood into the CSF and increases intracranial pressure (ICP) It can also follow a stroke, an infection such as meningitis or be the result of a brain tumour. 


Congenital hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation that can happen to babies during their development in the womb. Most often, it creates an obstruction of the cerebral aqueduct. This prevents cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from draining correctly and increases damaging pressure on the brain.

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