The Definition of the condition
Hydrocephalus comes from Greek words: “hydro” meaning water, “cephalus” meaning head.
Hydrocephalus is an excessive abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within cavities called ventricles inside the brain. CSF flows through the ventricles, exits into cavities at the base of the brain, bathes the surface of the brain and spinal cord, and is then reabsorbed into the blood stream, CSF is in constant circulation. Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an imbalance between the amount of CSF that is produced and the rate at which it is absorbed. As the CSF builds up, it causes the ventricles to enlarge, increased pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, tunnel vision, and mental disability. Hydrocephalus can also cause death. It is more common in infants, although it can occur in older adults.
Who is affected by hydrocephalus and the prevalence Data
The number of people who develop hydrocephalus or who are currently living with it is difficult to establish since the condition occurs in children and adults, and can develop later in life. A 2008 data review by the University of Utah found that, in 2003, hydrocephalus accounted for 0.6 percent of all paediatric hospital admissions in the United States. Some estimates report one to two of every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus may be congenital or acquired.
Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth and may be caused by either events or influences that occur during fetal development, or genetic abnormalities. Acquired hydrocephalus develops at the time of birth or at some point afterward. This type of hydrocephalus can affect individuals of all ages and be caused by injury or disease.
Hydrocephalus may also be communicating or non-communicating.
Communicating hydrocephalus occurs when the flow of CSF is blocked after it exists the ventricles. This form is called...