Dementia, gait disturbance, and incontinence. Typically, when older adults have these symptoms, they’re told they have diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or a host of other illnesses, when in many cases they are suffering from a treatable condition called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). Join the Hydrocephalus Association at its first Hydrocephalus Education Day in Neptune, NJ on Nov. 9th, where medical experts and patients will discuss NPH symptoms, and share information about other forms of hydrocephalus.
Trish Bogucki, who was diagnosed with NPH in 2015, is one of the speakers at the event. She hopes to help other senior citizens who may be living with debilitating symptoms, when they could actually be enjoying their retirement. When Trish was correctly diagnosed with NPH, she had surgery to have a device implanted in her brain to drain the excess fluid. Soon after treatment, her symptoms lessened and eventually disappeared.
“Initially I was terrified at the prospect of brain surgery but now feel very fortunate to be almost 100 percent back to normal and enjoying an active life. I want to help others get timely treatment by spreading the word about NPH; I also want to try to allay some of the fear by showing positive outcomes from both shunt surgery and the therapies that followed,” Trish explained.
Carly Weisman, who acquired hydrocephalus as a baby, will also share her story of living with this condition. She has endured 12 brain surgeries due to her hydrocephalus. Dr. Lawrence Daniels, a neurosurgeon from Meridian Health, will explain what hydrocephalus is, common symptoms, and treatment options.
One in every 770 babies develops hydrocephalus, a complex, life-threatening 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.
“Living with Hydrocephalus: Symptoms, Treatments and Beyond” takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 9th and lunch is included. The morning portion will focus on the type of hydrocephalus that affects the pediatric population, and the afternoon portion will be devoted to NPH.
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 $9 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 affected by the condition.