Hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain,” is a condition associated with a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in or around the brain. If left untreated, this can lead to brain tissue stretching, significantly affecting your child’s growth and development.
Is fluid on the brain serious?
Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid in the brain. The excess fluid puts pressure on the brain, which can damage it. If left untreated, hydrocephalus can be fatal.
Do babies with hydrocephalus survive?
What is the life expectancy of a child who has hydrocephalus? Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.
What is the life expectancy of a child with hydrocephalus?
Most of the newborns born with hydrocephalus will have a normal lifespan, and approximately 40 to 50 percent will have normal intelligence. Seizure disorders have been diagnosed in about 10 percent of children with hydrocephalus. The mortality rate for infants is approximately 5 percent.
Can fluid on the brain be cured?
Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations.
What would cause fluid on the brain?
The three main causes of hydrocephalus are: A blockage. Tumors, cysts, birth defects, and other objects in the brain can block or affect the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Poor fluid absorption.
What is the most common cause of hydrocephalus in infants?
The most common cause of acquired hydrocephalus in infants is hemorrhage, most often as a consequence of prematurity. Other important causes include neoplasm and infection, usually bacterial meningitis.
Is hydrocephalus a birth defect?
Congenital hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth defect that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to accumulate in brain cavities, called subarachnoid space.
What is the treatment for hydrocephalus in the child?
The most common hydrocephalus treatment is a shunt, a small piece of silicone tubing placed surgically inside the body to bypass a blockage or otherwise create a better flow of cerebrospinal fluid. The shunt allows for fluid to flow through it in one direction.
What is the life expectancy of someone with hydrocephalus?
Survival in untreated hydrocephalus is poor. Approximately, 50% of the affected patients die before three years of age and approximately 80% die before reaching adulthood. Treatment markedly improves the outcome for hydrocephalus not associated with tumors, with 89% and 95% survival in two case studies.
Can a child outgrow hydrocephalus?
In most cases, the implantation of a shunt will successfully control hydrocephalus, but shunts do not cure hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a lifelong condition. However, with proper treatment and maintenance, children with hydrocephalus can lead normal lives with few limitations.
Is hydrocephalus a disability?
You cannot get disability automatically for hydrocephalus because it is not a specifically listed condition in Social Security’s “blue book” of listed impairments.