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What is hydrocephalus and how is it related to spina bifida?

Hydrocephalus occurs when cerebrospinal fluid, the clear liquid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain, builds up in the brain. The condition occurs in spina bifida when the brainstem and cerebellum are pushed down into the spinal canal. Hydrocephalus puts pressure on the brain and can cause permanent damage. Hydrocephalus is treated by the placement of a draining tube from the brain into the body which reduces the pressure on the brain. 


Continue Learning about Hydrocephalus

How common is hydrocephalus?
Aria Fallah, MDAria Fallah, MD
Hydrocephalus occurs in two out of every 1,000 births in the United States. It is not known how many...
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What is the rate of incidence for acquired hydrocephalus?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
There are three types of hydrocephalus: acquired, congenital, and idiopathic. About one or two in 1,...
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What is the rate of incidence for congenital hydrocephalus?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Approximately 1 in every 500 children born in the United States has hydrocephalus, and about half of...
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What is hydrocephalus in elderly people?
John H. Growdon, MDJohn H. Growdon, MD
Hydrocephalus ("water on the brain") is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain. Typic...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.