What is hydrocephalus in elderly people?

Hydrocephalus ("water on the brain") is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain. Typically, the ventricles (cavities in the center of the brain) that secrete this fluid are greatly enlarged. Spinal fluid  circulates around the spinal cord and is absorbed by veins on the external surface of the brain. Congenital hydrocephalus is usually diagnosed shortly after birth, but normal-pressure hydrocephalus occurs in a small number of elderly people. This condition can result from head trauma, brain hemorrhage, or meningitis (inflammation of the membrane covering the brain), but most cases occur spontaneously without an obvious preceding illness.

In addition to developing dementia, people with this condition lose bladder control and walk in a slow, hesitant manner, as if their feet are stuck to the floor. A surgically implanted tube (shunt) that drains fluid from a cavity in the brain (the lateral ventricle) to the jugular vein or to the abdomen brings rapid improvement, provided treatment is started soon after the symptoms appear.

Continue Learning about Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is excess fluid in the brain, and is a condition in infants. A large head may be a symptom along with rapid increase in head size or vomiting. If caught early, placement of a shunt to reduce the fluid can result in c...

lose to normal life. If not caught, brief lifespan an severe developmental problems will result. Prevention includes fetal monitoring and growth monitoring
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