What is hydrocephalus?
What Does hydrocephalus Mean
In the Greek is where we can find the etymological origin of the word that occupies us now, hydrocephalus. A term that is the result of the union of three clearly differentiated "particles": hydro which means "water", kephale which can be translated as "head" and the suffix -ia which is defined as "quality".
In the medical field, hydrocephalus is diagnosed when a dilation outside the normal parameters of the ventricles of the brain is detected as a result of an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid . The brain, in turn, is made up of a set of organs that make up the nervous system of vertebrates and are located in the internal cavity of the skull.
In the past, hydrocephalus was an abnormality known as "water in the brain," although that substance is not actually water but cerebrospinal fluid . It is a light-colored fluid that envelops the brain and spinal cord. When this fluid accumulates excessively, it causes an atypical dilation of the brain regions known as ventricles, a fact that is potentially damaging to brain tissues.
Hydrocephalus can be of congenital origin (it is already present in the newborn child and can arise from environmental influences or heredity ) or be of an acquired type (it develops during the first hours of life or later, since it can manifest in people of all ages due to injury or illness ).
There are several indicative symptoms that this disease is suffered and these vary depending on the age of the person in question. Thus, for example, in children it is most common for it to be translated through an increase in the size of the head. However, together with this, they can also occur in the child from vomiting to seizures through insomnia or irritability.
In older people, however, the most common symptoms are headaches, blurred vision, balance problems, drowsiness, memory loss, irritability, vomiting, urinary incontinence or even various personality changes.
On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind that there are different types of hydrocephalus. The so-called communicating hydrocephalus , for example, is one that develops when there is a blockage of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid after its exit from the ventricles into the subarachnoid space. It is defined as communicating because the cerebrospinal fluid still manages to move between the ventricles, which remain open.
The non-communicating hydrocephalus , also known by specialists as obstructive hydrocephalus, is a picture that occurs when there is a blockage of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in one or more narrow pathways connecting the ventricles. One of the most common reasons for this class of hydrocephalus is aquaductal stenosis.
The current most common treatment for hydrocephalus requires surgical intervention. And it is that the surgeon what must carry out is the implantation in the head of the patient of what is called diversion system. What this will do is divert the aforementioned flow of cerebrospinal fluid outside the central nervous system, it will divert it to another area where it can be absorbed into the normal circulatory flow.
An intervention is very complicated that is not exempt from possible errors but that, of course, is the most effective technique so far.