Hydrocephalus, also called water in the brain, is a condition where there is an abnormal build up of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) in the cavities (ventricles) of the brain. The build-up is often caused by an obstruction that prevents proper fluid drainage.
What does excess spinal fluid mean?
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up within the fluid-containing cavities or ventricles of the brain. The term hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words “hydro” meaning water and “cephalus” meaning the head.
How do you get rid of excess spinal fluid?
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.
What is the life expectancy of someone with hydrocephalus?
Survival in untreated hydrocephalus is poor. Approximately, 50% of the affected patients die before three years of age and approximately 80% die before reaching adulthood. Treatment markedly improves the outcome for hydrocephalus not associated with tumors, with 89% and 95% survival in two case studies.
Is hearing spinal fluid normal?
This is a very normal occurrence and is no cause for concern. Arthritic conditions in which the joint space between the neck vertebrae decreases can result in crackling noises. Ligament issues or injuries can also cause a cracking sound in the neck.
How is hydrocephalus treated without surgery?
What’s the Alternative Treatment for Hydrocephalus? If CSF abnormally accumulates in the brain because of a blockage, endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) may be an effective course of action. An ETV is a minimally invasive surgery that normalizes brain pressure without the use of a shunt.
Can hydrocephalus be cured?
Hydrocephalus has no cure, but there are treatments that allow those affected to lead fairly normal lives with the condition. In some cases, it is possible for the blockage that is causing the fluid to build in the brain to be surgically removed.
Is hydrocephalus a terminal illness?
Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid in the brain. The excess fluid puts pressure on the brain, which can damage it. If left untreated, hydrocephalus can be fatal.
What are the symptoms of too much spinal fluid?
But if too much fluid is produced or not enough is re-absorbed, the CSF can build up and cause pressure within the skull, which is an enclosed space. This pressure can cause symptoms similar to those of a brain tumor, including worsening headache and vision problems.
Does caffeine increase intracranial pressure?
Caffeine decreases cerebral blood flow from 10 to 20%. These facts create a theoretical hypothesis that the decrease of CBF may reduce incranial pressure.
How can I lower my CSF pressure?
Effective treatments to reduce pressure include draining the fluid through a shunt via a small hole in the skull or through the spinal cord. The medications mannitol and hypertonic saline can also lower pressure. They work by removing fluids from your body.
How long is hospital stay for shunt surgery?
About the Shunt Operation
The actual surgical procedure to implant a shunt typically requires about an hour in the operating room. Afterward, you will be carefully observed for 24 hours. Your stay in the hospital will generally be for two to four days total.
How old is the oldest person with hydrocephalus?
The longest living hydrocephalic is Theresa Alvina Schaan (Canada) who was born on the 17 March 1941 and diagnosed with having congenital hydrocephalus. Also known as “water on the brain,” it is a condition in which there is extra cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the brain and spinal cord.
How Serious Is shunt surgery?
Placement of a shunt is a very safe procedure. However, complications can occur during or after the procedure. Risks associated with any surgical procedure include excessive bleeding and infection.