Hydrocephalus is a disease that usually occurs in infants or the elderly and is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid inside the brain and spine. When this excess fluid exists in the ventricles, its weight puts pressure on the brain tissue, causing various disorders. This disease can be detected in babies who often have trouble breathing, feed, and vomit frequently.
Risk factors of hydrocephalus
While there are cases in which the causes of hydrocephalus have not been determined exactly, some developmental or health problems can trigger it. In infants, it may be due to infections in pregnancy and complications in premature delivery, such as ventricular bleeding, as well as abnormal development of the baby’s nervous system.
In children and adults, this pathology can cause hydrocephalus infections of the nervous system, such as mumps or bacterial meningitis, traumatic lesions in the brain, or brain tumors. It can also trigger the disease bleeding in the brain because of a stroke.
Treatments for hydrocephalus
One of the most common treatments for this disease is a surgical operation called a “shunt.” Through this surgery, a drainage tube is implanted in the ventricles, which directs the fluid to the abdomen or heart, so that it is more easily absorbed.
In some cases, a hole is made in the ventricle to flow the fluid, using a procedure called VTE (endoscopic ventriculostomy of the 3rd ventricle). This surgical operation is performed with a small video camera that allows the surgeon to see inside the brain.
To determine which of the methods is most appropriate, an accurate diagnosis is necessary. But the shunt can cause infections and should often be replaced, while VTE does not leave devices inside the body and is considered a safer and less annoying procedure.
Therapies for children
Many children require additional therapies, especially to develop skills that are necessary for their daily lives. It is often recommended to consult a developmental therapist, psychologists, or psychiatrists, as well as social workers, who help the family to access the services the child needs.
Patients suffering from this disease require medical attention and permanent control but can lead an active and healthy life. For this, the disease must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
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