Facebook Pixel

Hydrocephalus, Or Water On The Brain: Excess Cerebrospinal Fluid

By HERWriter
Rate This

Hydrocephalus is a neurological condition that is also known as water on the brain. The fluid isn't actually water, it's cerebrospinal fluid.

Cerebrospinal fluid is normally doing a good job delivering nutrients to the brain, and protecting the brain as a kind of liquid shock absorber.

But when there's too much of it, soft tissue damage in the brain can be the result. Pressure increases inside the skull. This can lead to many neurological difficulties.

Hydrocephalus commonly starts in the womb. Young children with hydrocephalus may also experience infection of the central nervous system like meningitis or encephalitis, or bleeding in the brain associated with labor or delivery, or other birth injuries.

Tumors of the central nervous system, or other injuries or trauma may also be linked with hydrocephalus.

The earliest sign of problems may be enlarged head size, as the skull grows to house the expanding brain and cerebrospinal fluid.

Babies with hydrocephalus may be irritable, with seizures, sleepiness and vomiting. Their eyes may oddly appear to be gazing in a downward direction.

Older children may experience changes in the appearance of their face, and of the spacing of their eyes. Their eyes may cross or move uncontrollably. They may appear sunken. The whites of their eyes sometimes can be seen above the iris (colored part of the eye).

Their physical and mental growth and development may be slowed, movement may be uncoordinated and restricted. Reflexes may not be normal.

Upon examination, the doctor may tap their fingers on the skull. The resultant sound may be distinctive, possibly indicating a thinning and separation of the skull bones.

The veins of the scalp may look stretched. The front part of the head is the most commonly enlarged area.

A CT scan of the head can be useful. Arteriography, skull x-rays, ultrasound of the brain, and rarely lumbar puncture, are other tests that may be revealing.

There is no known cure at this time for water on the brain. But treatments can make life easier. Shunts may be inserted into the brain to drain fluid. Monitoring of the shunt is needed to assure proper drainage.

If hydrocephalus is untreated, the death rate can reach 50 - 60 percent. Those that do survive may be left with some degree of mental, neurological and physical dysfunction. The children who survive for a year have a good chance of living out a more normal life span.


Hydrocephalus - Overview

Water On The Brain (Hydrocephalus)


What Is Water on the Brain?

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Water on the Brain

Get Email Updates

Water on the Brain Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!