Hydrocephalus: A Medical Term

What is hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus, also known as water on the brain, is a serious medical condition which occurs when an abnormal amount of cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain, resulting in increased pressure on the brain. This buildup of fluid can cause a wide range of neurological complications. It is a potentially life-threatening medical issue that can cause a variety of medical symptoms, such as difficulty walking, vision loss, headache, seizures, and changes in behavior. Hydrocephalus can occur in both children and adults, though it is more common in infants and young children. Treatment typically involves the placement of a shunt, a device designed to drain the excess fluid away from the brain. Early diagnosis and intervention is critical in providing the best possible outcome.


Hydrocephalus is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on the brain. This buildup increases pressure on the brain and can lead to serious health issues. The causes of Hydrocephalus are numerous, and include:

  1. Congenital abnormalities, such as spina bifida
  2. Head injuries
  3. Brain tumors
  4. Infections, like meningitis
  5. Stroke

While the medical causes of Hydrocephalus are not always well understood, the condition is believed to be linked to genetic and environmental factors. In some cases, Hydrocephalus can be caused by a combination of factors, including a mother’s health during pregnancy. Regardless of the cause, prompt and proper medical attention can help to reduce its effects on the patient.


Hydrocephalus is a medical term used to describe a condition in which there is an excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, causing the ventricles to widen and the head to enlarge. Symptoms of hydrocephalus can vary depending on age, but typically include headache, vomiting, irritability, lethargy, poor appetite, seizures, difficulty walking and balance problems. Papilledema, which is swelling of the optic nerve, may also be present. In infants, a bulging fontanelle, or soft spot on the skull, is a sign of hydrocephalus. If left untreated, hydrocephalus can cause severe neurological problems, including intellectual disability and paralysis. Early diagnosis and treatment of hydrocephalus is essential for improving the long-term outcome of the patient.


Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. It can be congenital or acquired. Early symptoms and signs of hydrocephalus may include an enlarged head, vomiting, and lethargy, with advanced symptoms including an inability to walk, double vision, gait disturbances, and cognitive problems.The diagnosis of hydrocephalus typically involves several tests. An ordered list of diagnostic procedures would include:

  1. Brain imaging: An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)* scan or a CT (computed tomography) scan can diagnose hydrocephalus.
  2. Ultrasound: Ultrasounds can be used to diagnose hydrocephalus, especially in pregnant women.
  3. Cerebral spinal fluid pressure test: A lumbar puncture test measures the pressure of the cerebral spinal fluid in the body.
  4. Neuropsychological testing: Cognitive and neurological tests can determine the severity of the hydrocephalus.

In order to confirm the diagnosis, a team of specialists needs to review the results of these tests. Treatment for hydrocephalus typically includes medications or surgery. It is important to diagnose and treat hydrocephalus early to achieve optimal results.


Hydrocephalus is a serious medical condition that requires careful attention and treatment. Treatment options vary in complexity, depending on the severity of the condition, and range from medication to surgical procedures. Medications such as diuretics and steroids may be used to reduce the fluid build-up in the brain, while surgical procedures may involve inserting a shunt to divert the fluid from the brain to another area of the body. In some cases, doctors may also recommend physical and occupational therapy to help with any physical, cognitive, or emotional issues resulting from the condition. Consulting regularly with a medical professional is essential to ensure the best treatment outcomes for hydrocephalus.


Hydrocephalus is a serious medical condition that can lead to serious health complications. The outlook for those with hydrocephalus largely depends on the individual’s age and the severity of the condition. Early diagnosis and treatment can increase the chances of a favorable outcome. However, hydrocephalus can cause lifelong complications, such as intellectual disability and seizures, in some individuals. This is why it is important to seek treatment immediately if any signs or symptoms of hydrocephalus are present. Additionally, individuals who have been diagnosed with hydrocephalus should regularly consult their medical team and follow medical advice to ensure they receive the best possible outcomes.

No Comments

    Leave a Reply