What is Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus?

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) is a neurological disorder caused by an excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. This fluid builds up in the ventricles, or cavities, in the brain and can cause a variety of symptoms such as difficulty walking, memory problems, and bladder control issues. It is most commonly seen in older adults, but can affect anyone of any age. NPH is often misdiagnosed as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but the two are distinct conditions.

NPH is typically caused by a blockage of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This blockage can be caused by something as simple as a buildup of scar tissue, inflammation of the brain’s ventricles, or a tumor. The blockage results in a buildup of fluid that increases pressure in the brain and leads to the symptoms of NPH. It is important to note that NPH can be caused by other conditions, such as brain trauma or an infection.

Treatment for NPH is typically done with a shunt procedure. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted into the brain and is connected to a valve placed beneath the skin. The valve helps regulate the flow of fluid and allows it to be diverted to another part of the body, reducing the pressure in the ventricles. Surgery is usually successful in relieving symptoms and normal pressure hydrocephalus improving quality of life for those with NPH.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus is a neurological disorder that affects older adults more often than other age groups, but can affect anyone. It is caused by a blockage of cerebrospinal fluid that leads to an increase in pressure in the brain. Treatment typically involves a shunt procedure that redirects the fluid and relieves the pressure. With successful treatment, normal pressure hydrocephalus those with NPH can experience improved mobility, memory, and bladder control.

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