How does a child get hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus occurs when the body makes more cerebrospinal fluid than the brain absorbs. A child may be born with this, but it can happen to a person at any age. Older children or adults with an abnormal growth in the head (tumor) or a head injury can develop hydrocephalus.

What causes hydrocephalus kids?

In some babies the condition is genetic, such as in babies with congenital aqueductal stenosis. Other conditions, such as neural tube defects (like spina bifida), are also associated with hydrocephalus. Other causes include premature birth, infections, tumors or bleeding inside the brain.

What is the main cause of hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is caused by an imbalance between how much cerebrospinal fluid is produced and how much is absorbed into the bloodstream. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced by tissues lining the ventricles of the brain. It flows through the ventricles by way of interconnecting channels.

What is the life expectancy of a child with hydrocephalus?

What is the life expectancy of a child who has hydrocephalus? Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.

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What causes a baby to be born with hydrocephalus?

There is no one specific cause of congenital hydrocephalus. However, it may be linked to a genetic defect, or be the result of another disorder such as spina bifida or encephalocele (sac-like protrusions of the brain).

Can a child outgrow hydrocephalus?

Though the majority of these babies will eventually need the traditional shunt when they grow older, many will never need another intervention. “Now,” Ahn says, “we can treat these babies so that they can outgrow their hydrocephalus and never need a shunt at all, which is a tremendous victory.”

How is hydrocephalus treated in children?

The most common hydrocephalus treatment is a shunt, a small piece of silicone tubing placed surgically inside the body to bypass a blockage or otherwise create a better flow of cerebrospinal fluid. The shunt allows for fluid to flow through it in one direction.

Does hydrocephalus go away?

Hydrocephalus is a condition of the brain where there is a pressure-induced deterioration of brain functions. It does not go away on its own and needs special treatment. Hydrocephalus is due to the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the cavities deep within the brain.

Can hydrocephalus be cured?

Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations.

Is hydrocephalus a disability?

Shunts may drain too little CSF, in which case the symptoms of hydrocephalus get worse. A diagnosis of hydrocephalus is not enough to “automatically” qualify for Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefits under either the Social Security Disability (SSDI) program or under an employer-provided group disability plan (ERISA).

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What does a baby with hydrocephalus look like?

Babies younger than 1 year old still have their “soft spot” because their skull bones have not fully grown together yet. In them, hydrocephalus usually leads to bulging at the soft spot, increasing head size, and large scalp veins. Older children with hydrocephalus usually complain of headache.

How is hydrocephalus treated without surgery?

Abstract. Hydrocephalus is usually treated by placing an extracranial CSF shunt. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy, however, has been revived recently as a less invasive method for treatment. We intended to avoid shunting or to eliminate the previously placed shunt with this procedure.

Is hydrocephalus a birth defect?

Overview. Congenital hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth defect that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to accumulate in brain cavities, called subarachnoid space.

Can babies with hydrocephalus lead normal lives?

There is no cure for hydrocephalus, but with timely diagnosis and treatment, children with hydrocephalus can lead normal lives. They will require close care from physicians, neurosurgeons and sometimes neurologists as well.

Can a baby with hydrocephalus walk?

Many children with pediatric hydrocephalus have normal intelligence and physical development, but some may be slower to develop skills such as hand-eye coordination or learning to walk. Some may experience learning problems as they progress in school.

Can hydrocephalus resolve itself in infants?

Unlike forms of hydrocephalus caused by increased CSF in the ventricles, the external form involves fluid outside the brain, usually does not require any treatment and typically resolves itself over time.

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