Hydrocephalus: "Water on the Brain"
Hydrocephalus is a condition characterized by fluid pressing on the brain.
It may also be called "water on the brain," but this is an incorrect
term, since it is actually spinal fluid that collects and puts pressure
on the brain. This added pressure can cause problems in the way that
the brain grows and its ability to function.
More on Hydrocephalus
The symptoms of hydrocephalus can vary. It can be difficult to see them
in young children or infants because they may not be able to explain
the symptoms. However sudden swelling or growth of an
infant's head is a warning sign, and you should take the child to the
doctor immediately. Other common symptoms include:
Blurred or double vision
More on Symptoms and Dealing with the Condition
To treat hydrocephalus it is important to relieve the pressure on the
brain. This is usually done with a surgery that puts in a shunt to
allow the accumulating fluid to drain off the brain. The shunt has
risks involved with it, including a chance of infection, as well as the
possibility of the shunt closing again. Depending on the cause of the
hydrocephalus and the stage of development of the patient, the recovery
of each person will be different.
Treatments and Outcomes of the Disease
- PubMed.gov: Long term prognosis for
children with hydrocephalus
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, it may be
helpful to join a support group. There are many available to you. This
group can allow you to seek advice and support from others in the same
Hydrocephalus can affect many people. It is thought to
affect about 1 in 500 children throughout the world. Generally, it
happens to young children, although adults can experience hydrocephalus
as an adult as a result of an accident, illness or stroke.
Hydrocephalus may be the result of a congenital birth defect. If this is
the case it is usually discovered in the routine ultrasound conducted