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Hydrocephalus Treatment

Hydrocephalus is a condition that may be inherited or acquired. Congenital hydrocephalus may be present at birth, caused by influences that may have occurred during development, or through genetic abnormalities. Acquired hydrocephalus may develop at the time of birth or anytime in life, affecting individuals of all ages. Some questions can arise such as can hydrocephalus in adults be caused by injury? Could recognizing hydrocephalus symptoms lead to an early diagnosis aiding in hydrocephalus treatment? Read below for questions answered by Experts. 

What is hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus was derived from the Greek words; “hydro" meaning water and "cephalus" meaning head. A condition in which there is excessive fluid in and around the brain. Once known as “water on the brain”. This may occur when the cerebral spinal fluid has restriction of flow, an overproduction of fluids or lack of absorption. Excessive accumulation of fluids may result in an abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles; this may create pressure on the tissues of the brain. These fluids made inside the ventricles of the brain are normally dispersed around the brain and spinal cord. An Expert has answered question about hydrocephalus and its symptoms below.

If diagnosed with hydrocephalus, how long is it safe to wait before seeking medical treatment?

If one were asymptomatic then this may not justify an emergency situation. An emergency situation may occur when a CT scan (CAT SCAN) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) would show obstructive hydrocephalus or an acute hydrocephalus. One then may be anxious to see a specialist in the field for hydrocephalus treatment.

Could a shunt relieve hydrocephalus symptoms such as confusion and limping if the individual also has high levels of carbon monoxide?

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus can be difficult to diagnose and treat. This is a condition where the pressure in the ventricles of the brain is increased. With treatment involving shunting, the cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricles may result in the brain being less compressed and therefore increase functionality. Symptoms thought to occur may include difficulty in walking, dementia, and urinary incontinence. If one experienced all three, then a diagnostic lumbar puncture to reduce fluid in and around the brain may be an option to improve one’s symptoms.

Carbon monoxide toxicity can show similar signs to symptoms of hydrocephalus; so one may not show improvement during the "test" lumbar puncture, and shunting. Diagnostics for brain effects from carbon monoxide may be checked by a scan to look at brain metabolism.

Can hydrocephalus cause loss of taste and smell?

A classic list of symptoms of hydrocephalus may include dementia, walking problems, and urine incontinence. Loss of smell and taste is not a common side effect associated with hydrocephalus. The loss of smell can affect taste and they may be a sign of dementia, as it may also be a side affected known to Alzheimer’s patients.

Will brain function in an infant with hydrocephalus improve as pressure comes off the brain due to shunt placement?

An Expert with access to CT scans and EEG imaging, allowing a better understanding of the child’s brain development, would be better prepared to give a prognosis. Though the stunt may improve the cerebral function, with underlying brain developmental issues, the prognosis may be poor.

Hydrocephalus is a condition that may be inherited or acquired. Congenital hydrocephalus may be present at birth, caused by influences that may have occurred during development, or through genetic abnormalities. Acquired hydrocephalus may develop at the time of birth or anytime in life. Affecting individuals of all ages, hydrocephalus in adults may be caused by injury or disease. Recognizing hydrocephalus symptoms could lead to an early diagnosis aiding in an individual’s hydrocephalus treatment. Ask an Expert for more answers pertaining to hydrocephalus treatment.

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