What is Hydrocephalus?

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Hydrocephalus comes from the Greek "hydro" meaning water and "cephalie", meaning brain. A watery fluid, known as cerebrospinal fluid or CSF, is produced constantly inside each of the four spaces or ventricles inside the brain: between 400 and 600mls is produced each day.

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What is Hydrocephalus?

  1. 1. shinecharity.org.uk info@shinecharity.org.uk 42 Park Road Peterborough PE1 2UQ 01733 555988 What is Hydrocephalus?produced constantly inside eachof the four spaces or ventricles in the ventricles inside the brain,next, then out over the outside and adults, the head size cannotof the brain and down the spinalChoroid plexus Lateral ventriclesChoroid plexus (One each sidePituitary gland Superior sagittalKey Spinal cordCerebrum:Cerebellum:Ventricles:Choroid plexus:Superior sagittal sinus:Pituitary gland:Brainstem:Spinal cord:
  2. 2. What is Hydrocephalus? the lesion in the spinal cord, thereWhat causesHydrocephalus? of certain parts of the brain which increase in pressure due to this can Hydrocephalus can becongenital or acquired. Shine’sCongenital Hydrocephalus Cysts within the brainthe exact cause of congenitalhydrocephalus cannot be In these cases, hydrocephalus is often due to pressure on the surrounding tissues by theAqueduct Stenosis Geneticslinking the ventricles in the brain is hydrocephalus is due to hereditary generations, such as x-linked Maternal infections streptococcus which can
  3. 3. the drainage pathways resultingAcquired Hydrocephalus PrematurityBrain Haemorrhageincluding those occurring in adults brain of a baby born early is farTumours beneath the lining of the ventricles – because of the activity in this areasurrounding tissues, resulting blood vessels are very fragile and can easily burst if the baby suffers too large a swing in blood pressureis often necessary to control do occur, then the baby is at risk can lead to a blood clot developing,Meningitis to break through the wall of the
  4. 4. What is Hydrocephalus?a blood clot does not develop, the What is a shunt?Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus around the obstructed pathwaysSeen in older adults and valve to control the rate of drainage surgically so that the upper end isHow is in a ventricle of the brain and theHydrocephalus treated? lower end leads either into the Other drainage sites such as theunpleasant side effects and are outer lining of the lungs (ventriculo- Possible Complicationsdoes not ‘cure’ the hydrocephalus intended to stay in place for life, although alterations or revisions
  5. 5. individual grows and an operationWhat symptoms should belooked for? infected and the lower catheter isoften a reliable guide as to what to ventriculo-atrial shunt infections,Possible signs of acute shunt peritoneal shunts, such infectionsand other visual disturbances, after the operation when they were carried out for shunt infections andPossible signs of chronic shunt How are shunt problems treated? Shunt blockages which are causing illness usually require an operationIf a shunt blockage is suspected,
  6. 6. What is Hydrocephalus? Third ventriculostomythe whole shunt and a course of procedureantibiotics before insertion of aEndoscopicThird Ventriculostomyall types of hydrocephalus can besee Shine’sHydrocephalus and seizures What are the effects of hydrocephalus?hydrocephalus will develop associated with hydrocephalus concentration, reasoning and can also result in subtle effects,
  7. 7. Support Shine plays a leading role in providing support, through nationalof these effects can be reducedthrough teaching strategies or with have a child or adult with a disability and Shinepeople will have very few, if any, available on all aspects of care andAn example of a shunt in place catheter regional staff, area and specialist advisers will give personal advice brain Our services are available to individuals with the disabilities, valve parents, health professionals, schools, local authorities and other the heart heart tubing to theshunt
  8. 8. hydrocephalus, specially written forSHUNT ALERT CARDSShine has a series of Shunt Alertby people with hydrocephalustreated by a shunt (this will include Shine,please call 01733 555988.to those which occur when there isshunt blockage or infection, urgentshould be carried out in a specialistneuro-surgical unit, in order toPeople applying for a ShuntAlert Card can also requestHelp usShine relies on people’s generosity and support so we can help our clientswho depend on us for help and advice - people with hydrocephalus, Shine please visitwww.shinecharity.org.uk or call 01733 421329 Shine’sapproved by Shine’sShineto Shine please visit www.shinecharity.org.uk

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