The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links.
Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will hydrocephaly ad alcolismo on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items. The term hydrocephalus is derived from two words: "hydro," meaning water, and "cephalus," hydrocephaly ad alcolismo to the head. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid CSF builds up within the ventricles fluid-containing cavities of the brain and may increase pressure within the head.
Although hydrocephalus often is described as "water on the brain," the "water" is actually CSF — a clear fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. CSF has three crucial hydrocephaly ad alcolismo. The average adult produces about one pint of CSF daily. When an injury or illness alters the circulation of CSF, one or more of the ventricles becomes enlarged as CSF accumulates.
In an hydrocephaly ad alcolismo, the skull is rigid and cannot expand, so the pressure in the brain may increase profoundly. Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people hydrocephaly ad alcolismo hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations.
Hydrocephalus can occur at any age, but is most common in infants and adults age 60 and older. It affects adult males and females, as well as people of different races, about equally. Experts believe that normal-pressure hydrocephalus accounts for five to six percent of all dementia cases.
Hydrocephalus hydrocephaly ad alcolismo occurs when a stroke or injury damages the brain and brain matter actually shrinks. The brain may shrink in older patients or those with Alzheimer's diseaseand CSF volume increases to fill hydrocephaly ad alcolismo extra space.
In these instances, the ventricles are enlarged, but the pressure usually is normal. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus results from the gradual blockage of the CSF-draining pathways in the brain. The ventricles enlarge to handle the increased volume of CSF, thus compressing the brain from within and eventually damaging or destroying the brain tissue. NPH owes its name to the fact that the ventricles inside the brain become enlarged with little or no increase in hydrocephaly ad alcolismo.
However, the name can be misleading, as some patients' CSF pressure does fluctuate from high to normal to low when monitored. NPH can occur as hydrocephaly ad alcolismo result of head injurycranial surgeryhemorrhagemeningitis or tumor. Unfortunately, the cause of the majority of NPH cases is unknown, making it difficult to diagnose and hydrocephaly ad alcolismo.
Compounding this difficulty is the fact that some of the symptoms of NPH are similar to the effects of the aging process, as well as hydrocephaly ad alcolismo such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
The majority of the NPH population is older than 60, and many of these people believe their symptoms are just part of the aging process. Unfortunately, many cases go unrecognized, hydrocephaly ad alcolismo never properly treated or are misdiagnosed. The gait in many patients with NPH is very distinctive: hydrocephaly ad alcolismo, short, slow and shuffling. People may have trouble picking up their feet, as if their feet are glued to the ground. They may have difficulty going up and down stairs and curbs, and they fall frequently as a result.
Gait disturbance often is hydrocephaly ad alcolismo most obvious first symptom. These disturbances range in severity, from mild imbalance to the inability to stand or walk at all. The symptoms of NPH usually get worse over time if the condition is left untreated.
Patients with untreated, advanced NPH may experience seizures, which can get progressively worse. Mild dementia can be described as a loss of interest in daily activities, forgetfulness, difficulty dealing with routine tasks and short-term hydrocephaly ad alcolismo loss. Not everyone with NPH develops an obvious mental impairment. Hydrocephaly ad alcolismo control problems usually involve urinary frequency hydrocephaly ad alcolismo urgency in mild cases. In severe cases, however, a complete loss of bladder control urinary incontinence may result.
Urinary frequency is the need to urinate more than usual, often as frequently as every one to two hours. Urinary urgency is a strong, immediate physical need to urinate. This hydrocephaly ad alcolismo is sometimes so strong that it cannot be controlled, resulting in incontinence.
Patients presenting the three primary NPH symptoms or a combination of the other symptoms should consult a neurosurgeon as soon as possible.
Before your doctor can recommend a course of treatment, he or she will:. The neurological examination also will help to determine the severity of your condition.
There are a wide variety of diagnostic tests hydrocephaly ad alcolismo can help pinpoint the cause and severity of hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus can be treated in a variety of ways. The problem area may be treated directly by removing the cause of CSF obstruction or indirectly by diverting the fluid to somewhere else, typically to another body cavity. Indirect treatment is performed by implanting a device known as a shunt to divert the excess CSF away from the brain.
The body cavity in which the CSF is diverted usually is the peritoneal cavity the area surrounding the abdominal organs. In some cases, two procedures hydrocephaly ad alcolismo performed: one to divert the CSF and another at a later stage to remove the cause of obstruction e.
Once inserted, the hydrocephaly ad alcolismo system usually remains in place for the duration of a patient's life, although additional operations to revise the shunt system may be needed. The shunt system continuously performs its function of diverting the CSF away from the brain, thereby keeping the intracranial pressure within normal limits.
An alternative operation called endoscopic third ventriculostomy may be recommended. In this operation, a tiny burr hole is made in the skull and a neuroendoscope a small camera which is attached to a medical instrument enters the brain.
The neurosurgeon then will make a small hole several millimeters in the floor of the third ventricle, creating a new pathway through which CSF can flow. Your neurological function will be evaluated post-surgery. If any neurological problems persist, rehabilitation may be required to further your improvement. However, recovery may be limited by the extent of the damage already caused by the hydrocephalus and your brain's ability to heal.
Because hydrocephalus is an ongoing condition, long-term follow-up by a doctor is required. Follow-up diagnostic tests, including CT scans, MRIs and X-rays hydrocephaly ad alcolismo, are helpful in determining if the shunt is working properly. Do not hesitate to contact your physician if you hydrocephaly ad alcolismo any of the following postoperative symptoms:.
The prognosis for hydrocephalus depends on hydrocephaly ad alcolismo cause, the extent of symptoms and the timeliness of diagnosis and treatment.
Some patients hydrocephaly ad alcolismo a dramatic improvement with treatment, while others do not. Hydrocephaly ad alcolismo some instances of NPH, dementia can be reversed by shunt placement. Other symptoms such as headaches may disappear almost immediately if the symptoms are related to elevated pressure. According to the Life NPH websiteif the cause of the NPH is known, the reported success rate for the shunting procedure can be as high as 80 percent.
The success rate varies from 25 to 74 percent for NPH cases in which its cause is unknown. In general, the earlier hydrocephalus is diagnosed, the better the chance for successful treatment. The longer the symptoms have been present, the less likely it is that treatment will be successful. Unfortunately, there is no accurate way to predict how successful surgery will be hydrocephaly ad alcolismo each individual.
Some patients will improve dramatically, while others will reach a plateau or decline after a few months. Hydrocephaly ad alcolismo malfunction or failure may occur.
The valve can become clogged, or the pressure in the shunt may not match the needs of the patient, requiring additional surgery. In the event of an infection, antibiotic therapy may be needed. Signs of a shunt malfunction include headaches, vision problems, irritability, fatigue, personality change, loss of coordination, difficulty in waking up or staying awake, a return of walking difficulties, mild dementia or incontinence.
Fortunately, most complications can be handled successfully. Hydrocephaly ad alcolismo websites offer additional helpful information on adult-onset hydrocephalus and its causes, as well as treatment options, support and hydrocephaly ad alcolismo.
Note: These sites are not under the auspice of AANS, and their listing here should not be seen as an endorsement of these sites or their content. The AANS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products or physicians referenced in these patient fact sheets. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Register with iGive. Adult-onset Hydrocephalus The term hydrocephalus is derived from two words: "hydro," meaning water, and "cephalus," referring to the head.
CSF has three crucial functions: It acts as a "shock absorber" hydrocephaly ad alcolismo the brain and spinal cord; It acts as a vehicle for delivering nutrients to the brain and removing waste; and It flows between the cranium and spine to regulate changes in pressure within the brain.
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