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Hydrocephalus Treatment in India

The word ‘Hydrocephalus' is the condition where there is an abnormal enlargement of the brain ventricles (cavities) due to the accumulation of cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF). Cerebro-spinal fluid is a clear fluid absorbed by the brain. This CSF circulates from the brain cavity system and thereafter from the subarachnoid space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. CSF nourishes and protects both the spinal cord and brain. Damaged to the brain is caused if hydrocephalus is left untreated. It has been seen that hydrocephalus is more common in infants and adults who are 60 or above. According to some experts, normal pressure hydrocephalus accounts for 5-6% of all dementia cases.

Types of Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is 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.

Symptoms of Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus symptoms depend upon the stage of hydrocephalus condition and the age of the child at the time of diagnosis.

Symptoms in Older Children

  • Urinary incontinence
  • 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

Symptoms in Infants

  • Unexplained seizures
  • 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

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