What is Hydrocephalus?

HYDROCEPHALUS is a medical condition that is most common in infants and other adults.

Nick Cannon announced on Tuesday, December 7, that his newborn son, Zen, had passed away from the condition.

What is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid in the ventricles of the brain.

The term hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words "hydro" meaning water and "cephalus" meaning the head.

"The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain," according to Mayo Clinic.

"Cerebrospinal fluid normally flows through the ventricles and bathes the brain and spinal column. But the pressure of too much cerebrospinal fluid associated with hydrocephalus can damage brain tissues and cause a range of brain function problems," the outlet continues.

Hydrocephalus can occur at any age, but it is most common in infants and adults over 60.

Hydrocephalus is believed to affect approximately one to two in every 1,000 children born in the US according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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What are the symptoms of Hydrocephalus?

The symptoms of the condition are as follows:

  • An usually large head
  • An increase of size in the head
  • A bulging soft spot on the top of the head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Poor eating
  • Irratibility
  • Seizures
  • Problems with muscle tone and strength
  • Eyes fixed downwards

How do you treat Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is caused by an imbalance between how much cerebrospinal fluid is produced and how much is absorbed into the bloodstream according to Mayo Clinic.

Surgical treatment for the condition is an option to normalize cerebrospinal fluid levels in the brain.

A device known as a "shunt" can be placed in the brain to divert the excess fluid away from the brain.

An alternative operation called an endoscopic third ventriculostomy is also available to patients, in which a surgeon utilizes a small camera to create a new pathway through which CSF can flow.

Follow-up diagnostics tests, including CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays are required to ensure there are no further problems.

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