For a healthy lifestyle, it is important that we have a healthy brain. But when our brain isn’t functioning properly, there are chances we cannot expect a healthy lifestyle. The same is the scenario with people having hydrocephalus.
Do you know about hydrocephalus? Are you aware of this brain condition? Keep reading if you have no clue what we are talking about. Here we are discussing hydrocephalus in detail so that in case you have an encounter with someone going through such a condition, you are aware of how to treat them. Let’s get started!
Hydrocephalus is a condition of the brain!
When we are discussing hydrocephalus, it is important to understand that it is a condition in which there is a buildup of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain. The fluid buildup is responsible for increasing the size of the ventricles, which as a result puts pressure on the brain and, in some cases, the size of the brain also increases.
It can occur at any age, but infants and people over the age of 60 are more vulnerable. To keep the brain and spinal column in exactly the right position, cerebrospinal fluid flows through the ventricles. But during the hydrocephalus condition, the pressure is too high and this is responsible for damaging the brain tissues, resulting in different brain function problems. In some cases, people are not in the state to notice the changes initially, but avoiding them is not a condition.
People with hydrocephalus need to go for surgery to restore and maintain the cerebrospinal fluid in their brain normally. Some doctors also suggest different therapies to manage the symptoms and problems related to the same conditions.
Symptoms to know about hydrocephalus:
When a person has hydrocephalus, it is important to remember that the symptoms are highly dependent on their age. If this condition is noticed in infants, the symptoms are different than in adults, likewise.
Hydrocephalus symptoms in infants:
Hydrocephalus conditions are easy to diagnose in infants. You will see that they have an unusually large head and the size keeps on increasing. The frontal on the top of the head appears to be bulging out. This is helpful in analyzing the condition of hydrocephalus in infants.
Certain physical signs and symptoms are linked with hydrocephalus, and this includes:
- Feeling of nausea and vomiting.
- Eyes fixed downwards,
- Poor eating habits
- Lethargic and so on.
It is integral to understand that infants or people suffering with hydrocephalus face a lot of difficulties with brain functioning, and sometimes they are not even in the state to manage things out.
Hydrocephalus Symptoms in Toddlers and Older Children:
As we have discussed, the symptoms of hydrocephalus are different according to age, and likewise, they are different in toddlers and older children. These are as follows:
· Physical signs and symptoms:
At first, you will see that there are some physical signs and symptoms as well. They are dealing with constant headaches along with blurred vision. In some cases, they also face difficulty in coordinating things and a loose balance. Sometimes they feel sleepy all the time and the very next moment they are not in the state to sleep properly. They face loss of bladder control and the urge to urinate increases.
· Behavioural and cognitive changes:
Behavioral and cognitive changes are also linked with hydrocephalus, and this includes the entire change in their personality. You will notice that they are not able to perform well in school and that sometimes they also face problems in managing their regular activities. Also, they start behaving like stupid people, and acquiring skills seems to be a very difficult task for them.
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in young and middle-aged adults:
Symptoms to be noticed in young and middle-aged adults with hydrocephalus include the common symptoms. These are somewhat similar to the symptoms as noticed in children, but the same has been advanced. They are dealing with headaches and also a decline in memory. Concentration seems to be very difficult for them, and they are not able to prepare well for the jobs and other activities in which they used to engage with enthusiasm previously.
Symptoms in older adults:
For older adults, or say, people more than 60 years of age, the common symptoms to notice include memory loss and loss of bladder control. They also have a frequent urge to urinate, and they start losing their ability to walk properly. They are sometimes unable to coordinate with what is going on around them and behave in an annoying manner toward everyone. The person initially is not able to notice the changes in their personality, but unfortunately, it is affecting their relationships around them.
Causes to know considering hydrocephalus:
After exploring the symptoms, you might be curious to know the causes as well. We well understand that the major cause is the imbalance between the cerebrospinal fluid production and the same getting absorbed into the bloodstream.
As we have already discussed, when the cerebrospinal fluid is not letting the brain and spinal cord flow properly in it, it puts pressure on the brain and leads to damage of the tissues of the brain. The same is the scenario when the fluid starts to flow into the spaces around the brain and the blood vessels start to effect and keep absorbing the same. The result of absorption is contributing to the problem of hydrocephalus.
Why is cerebrospinal fluid important for the brain?
There are so many reasons why cerebrospinal fluid is very important in maintaining brain functioning. These are as follows:
- The cerebrospinal fluid is responsible for allowing the brain to flow within the skull and it maintains brain buoyancy.
- It is responsible for cushioning the brain and preventing further injury.
- Cerebrospinal fluid is responsible for removing waste products and maintaining the metabolism of the brain.
- Cerebrospinal fluid is responsible for contributing to the movement of the brain cavity and spinal column and maintaining a constant pressure within the brain. Even when the blood pressure in the brain changes, these are responsible for maintaining its activity.
There are certain diseases due to which too much cerebrospinal fluid takes place in the ventricles. These are as follows:
The most common condition that leads to an excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles is a partial blockage in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. It sometimes happens either from one ventricle to another one. It reaches other spaces around the brain and leads to the condition of hydrocephalus.
2. Poor absorption
Poor absorption is a less common problem, and it happens when the cerebrospinal fluid is not absorbed properly. It happens due to inflammation of the brain tissues.
This is a rare condition where the cerebrospinal fluid is produced in excess and the process of absorption is quite slow.
Some other causes which contribute to the risk of hydrocephalus in any age group are as follows:-
- Brain tumor or spinal cord tumor?
- Central nervous system infections
- Traumatic injury to the brain
- Head injury
- Stroke leads to bleeding in the brain.
Diagnosis of hydrocephalus
When you approach the doctor for a diagnosis of hydrocephalus, it is important to understand that they will do it on the basis of the following:
1. Physical examination:
At the very first physical examination, doctors consider. This will help them analyze the condition of the brain and know the best test for diagnosing the problem.
2. Neurological exam:
A neurological exam is a type of exam that depends on the age of a person. The Neurologist will most likely ask you questions about your lifestyle as well as perform some tests to determine your muscle condition. This will help them to know whether their senses are functioning properly or not.
3. Brain imaging examination:
Brain imaging tests are also very important. Doctors usually suggest patients go for an MRI and a CT Scan. This will provide them with a clear picture of the brain, and because they are in the United States, they will be able to determine whether this is due to hydrocephalus or another health condition. When you approach the doctor for treatment, after analyzing the reports, he will start the treatment.
Treatment for hydrocephalus
The treatments that doctors adapt to treat the hydrocephalus condition are surgical treatments. There are two surgical treatments that they consider majorly. This includes:
· Endoscopic third ventriculostomy:
Endoscopic third ventriculostomy is a surgical process in which a doctor utilizes a small video camera to get a clear picture of the inside of the brain. At the bottom of the ventricle or between the ventricles, the doctor will make a hole to insert it and let the cerebrospinal fluid flow out of the brain.
Among the most common adaptable treatments for hydrocephalus, doctors consider it a shunt as well. This is basically the drainage system. In this process, doctors utilize a long flexible tube with a valve and let the fluid flow out of the brain at the proper rate as well. One end of the tube is inside the brain ventricle and the other one is in another part of the body.
Here we have discussed the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment-related to hydrocephalus. We hope right now you are aware of this condition in detail. If you are searching for a doctor and have no clue whom to approach, then Jaipur is the best destination.
You can come here and fix an appointment with Dr. Krishna Hari Sharma. He is one of the best neuro spine surgeons in Jaipur, having years of experience in treating such conditions.
Also, when you approach him for hydrocephalus surgery in Jaipur, he will help you to know about the exact condition and also analyze the things with attention.
Q.1 – What is the hydrocephalus surgery success rate in 2022?
The success rate of hydrocephalus surgery is almost 25 to 74%. It depends on the condition of the patient and other related factors.
Q.2 – What is the main cause of hydrocephalus?
The main cause of hydrocephalus is an imbalance between cerebrospinal fluid production and its absorption into the bloodstream.
Q.3 – Who is the doctor for hydrocephalus surgery in Jaipur?
Dr. Krishna Hari Sharma is one of the best doctors to approach for hydrocephalus surgery in Jaipur. You can only get in touch with him and start the treatment.
Q.4 – What is the latest treatment for hydrocephalus in 2022?
The surgical implantation of a shunt is the latest treatment for hydrocephalus in 2022. Also, there is a lot of research considering other treatments for hydrocephalus.