Some people refer to hydrocelphus as ‘water on the brain.” The name is taken from the greek words “hydro” meaning water and “cephalus” referring to the head. Hydrocephalus is actually a build up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the cavities in the brain inside the ventricles. The purpose of the Cerebrospinal fluid is to serve as a protective cushion surrounding the brain and the spinal cord.
The fluid moves in constant circulation and is then absorbed into the blood stream. Hydrocephaly occurs when the fluid begins to build up in the cavities causing excess fluid to increase in the ventricles adding pressure on the brain which can cause damage to the brain tissues.
There are two major types of hydrocephalus:
Congenital. In this case, a child was born with it. The cause could be due to both genetic or environmental factors during the early stages of fetal development such as an infection or a birth defect or rubella.Through advanced technology, hydrocephaly can now be diagnosed through ultra sound testing
Acquired. Occurs when it is developed after birth. It may be due to a brain tumor, stroke, head injury or meningitis
Communicating. (Obstructive) Occurs when the CSF becomes blocked after leaving the ventricles
Non Communicating. (Non-Obstructive) occurs when the craniospinal fluid becomes blocked after leaving the ventricles.