Today there are over 1 million Americans living with hydrocephalus, a life-threatening neurological condition that has no cure and can only be treated with brain surgery. To raise awareness of this condition, the Bergen County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution naming September Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. The resolution was introduced by Bergen County Commissioner Steven A. Tanelli.
“As we just celebrated my grandsons 4th birthday, I clearly recall the days leading to his birth. We received the news that he would need to be rushed into surgery to alleviate the excess accumulation of fluid compressing his brain or a condition known as hydrocephalus. Prior to that day, not one person in my family had heard of the life-threatening condition. The experience changed our lives forever. We are eternally grateful for the amazing quality of care my grandson received at Hackensack University Medical Center. Since his birth, my mission has become to raise hydrocephalus awareness and it is my hope that this resolution along with our social media partnership with the Hydrocephalus Association serves as another small step toward that goal,” said Bergen County Commissioner Steven A. Tanelli.
The resolution adopted by the Bergen County Board of Commissioners on September 2, 2020 recognizes the need to increase public awareness, research funding, and information regarding hydrocephalus in Bergen County and throughout the United States.
“On behalf of the over one million people living with hydrocephalus in the U.S., we are grateful to Commissioner Tanelli and the entire Bergen County Board of Commissioners for their support of Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. Hydrocephalus affects hundreds of thousands of Americans, in every stage of life, from infants to the elderly, yet it is relatively unknown among the general public. Efforts like this resolution will go a long way toward raising awareness of this condition in New Jersey,” said Amanda Garzon, National Director of Program Services and Communications for the Hydrocephalus Association.
Each year, one in every 770 babies develops hydrocephalus, a complex condition marked by excess accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain. However, anyone at any time can develop hydrocephalus from a brain injury, tumor, or infection, and some people over 60 develop Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, which is often, misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s, dementia or Parkinson’s. The primary treatment for hydrocephalus is the insertion of a device called a shunt – a small tube and a connected valve – into the brain to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid to another part of the body. Shunts save lives, but frequently malfunction, become infected, or blocked. It is not uncommon for a person with hydrocephalus to have ten or more shunt-related brain surgeries throughout their lifetime, and some individuals will undergo more than 100 surgical procedures.
To learn more about hydrocephalus, visit: https://www.hydroassoc.org.
About the Hydrocephalus Association
Founded in 1983 by the parents of children with hydrocephalus, the Hydrocephalus Association (HA) is the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated to hydrocephalus. More than 60 percent of HA’s funding comes from individual donations, and approximately 35 percent comes from foundation and corporate grants. Since 2009, HA has invested over $12 million in cutting-edge research, making it the largest non-profit, non-governmental funder of hydrocephalus research in the United States. The Hydrocephalus Association’s mission is to find a cure for hydrocephalus and improve the lives of those impacted by the condition.