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.
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.