Recent NPH Research Update

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There is a growing body of work surrounding Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) that simultaneously moves us forward and illustrates how far there is to go.  Two recently published studies aim at establishing parameters of the effects of NPH specifically on cognition, and generally, on the effect that treatment can have on quality of life.

The first article comes from researchers in Japan.  “Cognitive Profile of Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus” and published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, seeks to establish the boundaries and parameters of the cognitive impairment associated with NPH.

When we talk about NPH we often talk about a triad of symptoms: urinary incontinence/frequency, mild dementia and difficulty with walking and balance.   But what do we mean when we say mild dementia? This study is an attempt to show clearly the areas of cognitive impairment that are specific to NPH NPH. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s Disease and the authors tried to establish the differences between cognitive impairments caused by these two different conditions.

Cognitive Profile of Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

The second article comes from researchers at the University of California at San Francisco and uses data collected by the Hydrocephalus Association.  “Self-Reported Functional Outcome After  Surgical Intervention in patients with Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus”, published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. The authors discuss the improvements in Quality of Life for patients who have received shunt placement surgery.

The data for this study was gathered from the Hydrocephalus Association Database Registry project from 2003-2005.  It is unique in the amount of patient information gathered from 252 patients, and that the parameters for quality of life are defined by the patient’s own standards.

Self-Reported Functional Outcome After Surgical Intervention in patients with Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

5 Comments for : Recent NPH Research Update
    • Marina Barnes
    • May 26, 2020

    How can I regain my balance,I have a shunt which didn’t help, what else can I do

    • Brita Lineburger
    • May 15, 2019

    Would love to know is there not anything more recent – and is there another source for research going on now, for older patients, 70 – thanks

    • Joan Williams
    • January 3, 2019

    Can anyone help with any UK centres / researchers in this area

    • David A. Frederick
    • August 8, 2011

    I was born in Dec 1963 and diagnosed with non-communicating hydrocephalus shortly after birth. My parents were told there was a new procedure and that there was a 50-50 chance of surviving surgery. Without it I was given two years. With it, 12 years max – “Anything past that, severe mental retardation.” I had the surgery and the shunt worked for three years and then failed. They removed it and everything has been fine.

    I have had to take seizure meds since I was 4 and have a patch of brain damage the size of a quarter. I am 47 and living as close to a “normal” life as possible. I am treated as a typical Joe Average and am considered a living miracle by many. I have times, like Thea, when I can’t put words together, etc, but everybody has that problem at one time or another.

  1. Reply

    I was diagnosed at the age of 64 yrs young after requesting to my family Dr. to have an MRI done on my brain due to headaches and pressure in my head for a long time. So in the Spring of 2009 after years of health problems(imbalances, brain fog, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia etc.) I was diagnosed properly with NPH. After two provisions my Shunt is finally working. It took about one year after the 2nd revision that I felt somewhat normal again. My strength, cognition and balance is slowly coming back. I do though have some relapses due to having a feeling of a false feeling good, from that feeling good I have a tendency to take full advantage of that and overdue it, then I pay for that but that’s who I am. But that’s ok, I’m alive and love life, no one and illness can take that away from me, although I do have to admit that I was dealing with depression and loosing confidence…but NEVER give up! The imbalances (falling) and the Dementia(was unable to put sentences and words together & remembering simple things) was the worst for me! I thank my God and my Dr. Paul Muizelaar at UC DAVIS MEDICAL CENTER. He is THE BEST!!!

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