Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Fluid Around the Brain Overview

Another name for Fluid Around the Brain is Hydrocephalus.

What is hydrocephalus?
A person with hydrocephalus has too much cerebrospinal fluid around the brain. The abnormally large amount of fluid places pressure on the brain, causing it to malfunction. Causes of hydrocephalus include a brain injury, meningitis, a brain tumor, and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

What are the symptoms of hydrocephalus?
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in infants include excessive crying, lethargy, sleepiness, irritability, poor infant feeding, and muscle spasms. Symptoms of hydrocephalus in children and adults include headache, nausea, vomiting, poor coordination, confusion, difficulty walking, and double vision or a vision change.

How does the doctor treat hydrocephalus?
Treatment for hydrocephalus includes the placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. A VP shunt is a tube that drains extra fluid from around the brain, into the abdominal cavity. About 75 percent of people with hydrocephalus require a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt.

Continue to Fluid Around the Brain Risk Factors

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Fluid Around the Brain References
  1. Bret P, Chazal J. Chronic (normal pressure) hydrocephalus in childhood and adolescence. A review of 16 cases and reappraisal of the syndrome. Childs Nerv Syst. 1995 Dec;11(12):687-91. [8750950]
  2. Cowan JA, McGirt MJ, Woodworth G, Rigamonti D, Williams MA. The syndrome of hydrocephalus in young and middle-aged adults (SHYMA). Neurol Res. 2005 Jul;27(5):540-7. [15978182]
  3. Hebb AO, Cusimano MD. Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus: a systematic review of diagnosis and outcome. Neurosurgery. 2001 Nov;49(5):1166-84. [11846911]
  4. Marmarou A, Young HF, Aygok GA, Sawauchi S, Tsuji O, Yamamoto T, Dunbar J. Diagnosis and management of idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus: a prospective study in 151 patients. J Neurosurg. 2005 Jun;102(6):987-97. [16028756]
  5. Measuring the health status of children with hydrocephalus by using a new outcome measure. J Neurosurg. 2004 Nov;101(2 Suppl):141-6. [15835100]
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