Normal pressure hydrocephalus can impact your physical and mental health, increasing your risk for memory problems, mobility issues, and dementia.
At his neurosurgery practice, Christopher Duma, MD, FACS, offers diagnostic tests on-site to determine if you have normal pressure hydrocephalus. Dr. Duma also has extensive experience designing a treatment plan to meet your needs and prevent a worsening of your condition.
Understanding normal pressure hydrocephalus
Normal pressure hydrocephalus describes an increase of cerebrospinal fluid build-up in the cavities of your brain. The excess fluids can obstruct your spinal cord and cause an enlargement in your brain cavities. This pressure put on your brain can lead to a variety of symptoms and requires treatment to prevent long-term complications.
Many people are at increased risk for normal pressure hydrocephalus because of their age. The condition can also develop because of underlying health issues like infections or brain tumors. If you experience head trauma or you’ve previously had brain surgery, you may also be at risk for a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in your brain.
Increased pressure on your brain can lead to:
- Mobility issues
- Memory difficulties
- Changes in bladder control
Forgetfulness and memory issues are often attributed to the natural aging process or are misdiagnosed as dementia. It’s important that you schedule an evaluation with Dr. Duma to confirm or rule out normal pressure hydrocephalus and other serious health conditions.
If left untreated, normal pressure hydrocephalus can lead to a worsening of your symptoms and ultimately cause premature death.
Diagnostic testing for normal pressure hydrocephalus
To accurately diagnose the root cause of your symptoms, Dr. Duma offers several on-site diagnostic technologies.
After a comprehensive review of your medical history, Dr. Duma uses clinical assessment of your symptoms to determine their cause. He also offers diagnostic imaging tests, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, and computed tomography (CT) scans, to check for fluid build-up inside your brain.
If these tests aren’t enough to confirm your condition, Dr. Duma may recommend a lumbar puncture to withdraw fluids from your spine. This test, also known as a spinal tap, can provide additional diagnostic information about the type of fluid building up in your brain.
Once Dr. Duma confirms normal pressure hydrocephalus, he customizes your treatment plan based on the severity of your condition.
Treatment options for normal pressure hydrocephalus
To reduce the flow of cerebrospinal fluid into your brain and reduce enlargement of the brain cavities, Dr. Duma may surgically implant a shunt.
A shunt is a small device that helps excess fluid drain into your abdomen, which absorbs it naturally. Dr. Duma continues to monitor how well the shunt is working for you through routine checkups.
Many people recover completely after treatment. Recovery success also depends on how early you receive your diagnosis. For this reason, Dr. Duma recommends scheduling a diagnostic evaluation for normal pressure hydrocephalus as soon as you begin experiencing memory issues and other related symptoms.
If you’re concerned about your constant forgetfulness or other symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus, schedule a diagnostic evaluation with Dr. Duma online or by calling the office.