Normal pressure hydrocephalus

About normal pressure hydrocephalus

As people grow older, they may start to become more forgetful and have difficulty walking ("gait disorder"). Rather than just blaming this on age, it is a good idea to undergo brain tests. Normal-pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a disease in which cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid that flows inside the head and over the surface of the spinal cord, builds up in areas within the brain called the "cerebral ventricles", putting pressure on the surrounding brain and causing gait disorder, forgetfulness, and urinary incontinence. The important thing about this condition is that these symptoms can be corrected using a standard operation. Hydrocephalus also occurs in other conditions such as brain tumors and subarachnoid hemorrhage, and is also seen in children. The hydrocephalus discussed on this page is the condition seen in elderly people that occurs without any apparent reason, known as idiopathic NPH (iNPH).

[ Normal brain ]

[ Hydrocephalus ]

In NPH (right), the cerebral ventricles in the center of the brain expand with increased cerebrospinal fluid, compressing the surrounding brain.

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