The causes for an acquired hydrocephalus are diverse. Accidents, surgeries, cerebral hemorrhage, tumors, meningitis and others can trigger this disease.
A pretty common form is the NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus).
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
The reasons for NPH are not well known. It is a disease of old age, most of the times coming up after the 60th year of life. According to estimates, only in Germany about 60.000 people being affected by NPH.
Gait disturbance, incontinence and dementia are three essential symptoms of NPH (also called Hakim-Trias). Additionally regular and squeezing headaches and short sudden dizziness can occur. The diagnosis is not easy. The similarity to other age diseases and temporarily high intracranial pressure fluctuations make it difficult to diagnose. Often doctors mix up the NPH with dementia. The consequences for the patient are fatal. If it is recognized too late, an initially well treatable disease can become an incurable suffering.
The more important is the awareness among the population. In an increasing aging society this disease probably will expand. Already today more than a fourth of the federal population are over 60.
The treatment of choice at NPH is the implantation of a shunt system. This is a drainage system with a hydrocephalus valve, which regulates the intracranial pressure to a normal level and protects the patient against over- and under drainage.