Hydrocephalus Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

What is hydrocephalus?

People with hydrocephalus have too much cerebrospinal fluid in their head. In healthy people make the brain just as much moisture as they dissipate. In people with hydrocephalus is upset that balance.

The disease occurs mainly in preterm infants. In a newborn baby swells by all the moisture it head on: a water main. Look the baby constantly down.
When a baby is a water head usually already during pregnancy to see, on a wide echo. After birth let the doctor do a brain scan to find the cause of the hydrocephalus.

Also adults can get hydrocephalus. In adults, the head does not swell and expresses the extra moisture so on the brain. That pressure on the brain is very dangerous. It causes among other headaches, blurred vision, vomiting, difficulty moving and epilepsy.

The treatment of Hydrocephalus is a shunt: a tube from the brain that drains excess moisture to the outside or to the abdominal cavity.

Some people become physically or mentally handicapped by hydrocephalus. But most people recover well, if a doctor discovered the disease but on time and treats.

What causes hydrocephalus?

When a premature infant hydrocephalus is usually due to brain hemorrhage, spina bifida or congenital abnormalities such as the Dandy Walker syndrome. Sometimes cause pregnancy as toxoplasmosis and cytomegalovirus infections, hydrocephalus in children.

When an older child or an adult hydrocephalus is usually by a meningitis or a brain tumor.
Hydrocephalus in old age could also be because the blood cerebrospinal fluid no longer absorbs well. That is a symptom of old age.

Some forms of hydrocephalus are hereditary. If you have a child with hydrocephalus, and would like a child? Specialists can use genetic testing to determine how big the risk is that you still get a child with hydrocephalus. Such specialists are working in the department of clinical genetics at university hospitals.

 People with hydrocephalus have too much cerebrospinal fluid in their head Hydrocephalus Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

What are the signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus?

At a baby with hydrocephalus is a big head the most obvious phenomenon. Another notable feature is that the child constantly look down. This is because of the pressure on the eyes.

In adults or older children with hydrocephalus swells the head not on. They usually look down. Complaints are:
  1. blurred vision, vomiting, drowsiness, restlessness and headache.
  2. problems moving, especially in the arms, legs, face and mouth;
  3. too early or too late puberty by disturbances in hormones;
  4. fall behind in the physical or mental development;
  5. epileptic seizures.
If the pressure inside the skull remains high, damaging the brain. Then people get physical and intellectual disabilities. It comes occasionally for that a Hydrocephalus patient in coma.

At old people seem caused by hydrocephalus sometimes on dementia: confusion, urinary incontinence, forgetfulness and difficulty in walking.

Hydrocephalus diagnosis

At a baby the doctor may diagnose Hydrocephalus even before birth, with an extensive echo and sometimes with a chorionic villus sampling. This research can they do between 16th and 28th week of pregnancy. A good outcome of this research is not guaranteed. Hydrocephalus can also only after the 28th week of pregnancy.

At Hydrocephalus after the birth (or in later life), makes the doctor a CT scan or an MRI scan to the brain. In newborn babies she will also an echo of the skull based.
Another possible research is a cisternography. In such an examination, the doctor with an epidural injection a little bit of radioactive material into the cerebrospinal fluid. After two days at different times makes them x-rays. They can see how the cerebrospinal fluid flows.

Treatment of Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is almost always treatable. It is important to quickly get you started. The sooner the pressure of the brain is, the less brain damage.

The treatment of Hydrocephalus is a shunt (another word for shunt is drain). A shunt is a drain tube that drains the excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain. A shunt operation is pretty simple. There are two types of shunts:
  1. A temporary shunt outside the body. This runs from the brain to the outside. This treatment is suitable, for example, a meningitis. The Hydrocephalus disappears as the inflammation healed. The shunt may then gone again.
  2. A lasting shunt within the body. It runs from the brains into the abdominal cavity or the heart through a vein in the neck. There is only cerebrospinal fluid flow when the pressure in the ventricles is too high.
Sometimes surgery is the best. Here, the doctor makes a small hole in the bottom of the skull in order by discharging the excess cerebrospinal fluid. The surgery is called a third-ventriculocisternostomy.

Other measures may be needed, such as punctures (what cerebrospinal fluid by using a hypodermic needle) or medication.

After inserting a shunt to the neurologist the shunt regularly. A shunt may become blocked, wrong, too much fluid drains or ignite. If the shunt is not working properly, the pressure in the head again.
Gets you or your kid again suffer from headaches, lethargy and nausea? Then go as fast as possible to the family doctor for a checkup.

Dealing with the effects of Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus often has consequences that are no longer. Some people like a physical and/or mental disability, but usually the consequences less severe.

A permanent shunt inside the body remains probably your life long. You can do almost anything with a shunt. You should only make you no hard blows to your head. Foot balls can, for example, but not headings.
Say it always against a doctor or dentist that you or your child has a shunt. At small operations or pulling a dial gives the doctor than antibiotics. That reduce the risk of infections.

People with hydrocephalus must comply with the rules and for control to the hospital. During the checks, the neurologist brain research. She makes an echo and measure the circumference of the skull. If necessary, also makes them x-rays of the shunt, a drain scan, CT scan or MRI scan. Sometimes she will be a drain puncture. People with a shunt remain under control as long as the shunt stays in place.

Sometimes the cause of Hydrocephalus. The shunt then performs any moisture. This is called ' compensated Hydrocephalus '. Also then let doctors prefer the shunt. The surgery to get it out is the balance between the production and drainage of cerebrospinal fluid again.

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