The term Hydrocephalus is the culmination of two words “hydro,” meaning water, and “cephalus,” denoting the head. What is Hydrocephalus? It is a certain condition in which there is an accumulation of excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that keeps building up in the ventricles. Find out more about it and how you can treat it at the best neurology hospital in Hyderabad. Ventricles are fluid-containing cavities of the brain and it increases the pressure within the head. Colloquially, Hydrocephalus is described as “water on the brain.” It is a clear fluid that occupies the brain and the spinal cord, surrounding it. The CSF has three very important functions, they are as follows,
- It acts as a cushion or shock absorber for the brain and the spinal cord.
- It transports nutrients to the brain and removes waste.
- It regulates pressure changes in the brain, flowing between the cranium and spine.
What is the Main Cause of Hydrocephalus?
Usually, an adult produces about a pint of CSF daily. But an injury or illness can impact the quantity and the circulation of CSF; the ventricles start to become enlarged as the CSF starts accumulating. The skull in an adult cannot expand and the brain may start to feel the pressure.
People suffering from this chronic condition Hydrocephalus can treat the condition but may not be able to cure it. Hydrocephalus may affect infants and adults above the age of 60 or older. In some cases, it may lead to dementia.
Hydrocephalus occurs when a stroke affects the brain and it starts shrinking. You usually notice the same in older patients or people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and CSF volume spills over to fill up the extra space. In these cases, the ventricles are enlarged, but the pressure stays the same.
What Increases Your Risk of Hydrocephalus?
Here the Reasons that Increases your Risk of Hydrocephalus,
- A brain injury or ventricle bleeding
- A few types of infections such as meningitis or ventriculitis
- Tumors or cysts that block the CSF flow
- Aqueductal stenosis, a condition that you are born with and there is a narrowed passage between 2 ventricles.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hydrocephalus?
Signs and symptoms appear mild at first and get progressively worse.
- Headache or dizziness
- Problems with waking
- Double vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Urinary problems, such as feeling the urge to urinate often or urgently, or sometimes leaking urine
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Memory problems
- Seizures or loss of consciousness
How is Hydrocephalus Diagnosed?
Your health care provider asks for several tests such as neuro signs or neuro checks to find out more about brain function. They will evaluate the eye movements and the way your pupils react to light. They also check other parameters such as memory and how you wake up. Your brain function is tested on the grounds such as balance, strength, vision and so on.
- Blood tests reveal infection and inflammation.
- Investigative imaging tests such as CT or MRI can reveal things such as bleeding, extra fluid or blockage. The contrasting liquids reveal the images of your brain more clearly. Follow a few guidelines before entering the CT scan room such as not wearing metal and letting your healthcare provider know about your specific allergies.
- A spinal tap or a lumbar puncture is carried out to collect the CSF fluid to check out various infections or the CSF pressure.
- Lumbar drainage is a procedure that drains off the CSF fluid to check if your symptoms get any better. Healthcare providers insert a catheter (tube) to drain the CSF from around your spine and the procedure can continue for 5 days. A hospital stay is mandatory while undergoing the test.
- The Intracranial Pressure (ICP) monitoring helps measure the pressure inside your skull. In this procedure, a small tube is put through the skull. The other end is connected to a monitor.
- Cisternography is a test to find out how the CSF moves through your brain and spinal canal. The test can take from 1 -3 days.
The Treatment Option for Hydrocephalus
What is Hydrocephalus and How is it Treated?
The first line of treatment is surgery. It involves the following steps.
- Removal of tumors or cysts to help your symptoms get better and get rid of the blockages.
- Draining extra CSF fluid via a tube from your brain inserting it into your abdomen to enable absorption.
- Ventriculostomy is a process that drains off the extra CSF fluid by puncturing your brain.
- Medicines help lower your inflammation or treat a bacterial infection. Medicines may also lower the amount of CSF your body makes.
Managing the Hydrocephalus Condition
Continue with your follow-up visits. Always keep in touch with your healthcare provider and when to go for follow-up visits. For the initial period say 2 to 3 weeks at first you may need CT scans.
Keep a track of your headaches; you have to evaluate the same which is mild to severe. Also, find out how the headache started. Healthcare providers evaluate your headache to change the treatment options. Report your changes in your weight. Your shunt valve may have to be changed and adjusted accordingly. If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above and visit the top hospitals in Hyderabad to treat the same.