Hydrocephalus meaning accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid or water in the brain leading to dilatation of spaces known as ventricles. The accumulation of liquid increases the dimensions of the ventricles which leads to stress on the brain and leads to issues with brain function. The fluid generally flows through the ventricles and washes the brain and the spinal cord.

Hydrocephalus in adults leads to headaches, poor or double vision, difficulty in balance, mental impairment or urinary incontinence. On the other hand, infants may have a sudden increase in their brain size.

Hydrocephalus can be treated by reestablishing and keeping the cerebrospinal fluid levels in the brain under limits with the help of medical or surgical treatment

There are three types of Hydrocephalus scroll underneath to learn more :-

  1. Communicating hydrocephalus or non-obstructive hydrocephalus, generally occurs when the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is impaired.
  2. non-communicating hydrocephalus or obstructive hydrocephalus, occurs when there is at least one obstruction to the progression of cerebrospinal fluid.
  3. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus is the most common one. It happens when there is an increment in CSF which is very gradual.

Now let us have a look at the Hydrocephalus causes:

This health issue is more common in infants but can happen at any stage of life. Hydrocephalus is brought up by an unevenness between how much cerebrospinal fluid is created and how much is retained in the circulatory system. This imbalance further increases the amount of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain which eventually builds up pressure inside and hence damages brain tissues.

The reasons behind the build-up of such phenomena are:-

  • a blockage fosters that prevents cerebrospinal fluid from streaming.
  • there is a reduction in the capacity of veins to absorb it.
  • brain starts creating an overabundance measure of the fluid.

Congenital hydrocephalus happens in the child before birth when the baby develops hydrocephalus in uterus. The most widely recognized reason for this is aqueductal stenosis, which leads to decreased flow between the third and fourth ventricles in the brain. Liquid gathers in the upper ventricles, causing hydrocephalus.

Let’s know about hydrocephalus symptoms:-

Hydrocephalus can cause permanent damage to brain tissues, therefore it becomes necessary to understand the fluid in the brain symptoms and seek medical help immediately.

The symptoms are classified below as per age groups:-

In infants with hydrocephalus

Some early symptoms include-

  • a lump on the soft spot on the head
  • The head is larger than anticipated
  • vomiting
  • problem in feeding
  • sleepiness
  • crankiness
  • eyes remain still downward
  • extreme fussiness
  • seizures.

In toddlers and minors:-

  • quick, high-pitched cries
  • character changes
  • changes in facial structure
  • trouble in feeding
  • extreme somnolence
  • crossed eyesight
  • headaches
  • muscle cramps
  • crankiness
  • loss of bladder control
  • vomiting or nausea
  • seizures
  • problems concentrating

Hydrocephalus Symptoms in adults:-

  • chronic headaches
  • Impaired coordination
  • Unsteady while walking
  • loss of bladder control
  • vision problems
  • lack of memory
  • difficulty concentrating

Diagnosis of hydrocephalus

The diagnosis of hydrocephalus is with the help of :

  • Responses to the doctor’s inquiries regarding indications and symptoms
  • A general physical exam
  • A neurological exam
  • Brain-imaging tests

The doctor may likewise utilize ultrasound to draw a closer check out of the cerebrum. These tests operate on high-recurrence sound waves to Capture photographs of the brain.

Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) scans can be helpful with the search for indications of abundance cerebrospinal fluid. Kids might require mild sedation for some MRI scans.

CT scans utilize many different X-rays to design a cross-sectional portrait of the brain. CT scan produces less detailed pictures than MRI and opens up to a modest quantity of radiation. This test for hydrocephalus is typically utilized uniquely for emergency exams.

Hydrocephalus treatment

There are two surgical treatments commonly known to be used to treat hydrocephalus:-

SHUNT- It is a drainage framework made of a long, adaptable tube with a valve. The valve assists cerebrospinal fluid to flow at a normal rate in the right direction at the proper rate.

VENTRICULOSTOMY- the neurosurgeon will form an opening in the lower portion of the ventricles or between the ventricles to assign cerebrospinal liquid to rush out of the brain.

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Q. What is the main cause of hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain)?

ANS. The main reason behind hydrocephalus is the unequal production of cerebrospinal fluid and how much is retained in the circulatory system.

Q.What are the three causes of hydrocephalus?

ANS. The three causes for hydrocephalus to occur are

A blockage- The most well-known issue is a blockage for the flow of cerebrospinal liquid,

Poor absorption-This is frequently connected with infection or injury.

Overproduction. Once in a while, the cerebrospinal liquid is made more rapidly than it can be absorbed.

Q. Can hydrocephalus go away?

ANS. YES, it can but not on its own. It will require special treatment or even surgery.

Q.What is the life expectancy of someone with hydrocephalus?

ANS. Kids frequently have a full life expectancy assuming hydrocephalus is gotten early and treated. Infants who undergo treatment to lessen the overabundance of water on the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.

Q.How do you detect hydrocephalus?

ANS. To analyze hydrocephalus, a neurologist takes a careful clinical history and plays out a neurological assessment and physical examination. Specialists then, at that point, play out an ultrasound, MRI output, or CT sweep to detect hydrocephalus.