By Karima Roumila, MPH, Community Programs Director
After posing this question to our Facebook members we received many comments from our community about the causes of their hydrocephalus as well as their age of diagnosis. 61% of the respondents said they or their loved one were born with hydrocephalus, meaning they have congenital hydrocephalus, while, 37% said they acquired hydrocephalus. After viewing the responses, we want to remind our community of the key terms used for hydrocephalus classification, the causes of hydrocephalus and most importantly, provide our community with a list of resources for further information.
Hydrocephalus is often identified in one of the following ways:
- Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth. Hydrocephalus diagnosed in adulthood may have existed since birth and can still be considered congenital and may be referred to as compensated hydrocephalus.
- Acquired hydrocephalus develops after birth as a result of neurological conditions such as head trauma, brain tumor, cyst, intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) or infection of the central nervous system.
- Idiopathic is when the cause of hydrocephalus is unknown, this is most commonly true ofnormal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH).
Other terms used by a doctor to describe hydrocephalus are “communicating” and “non-communicating”.
- Communicating hydrocephalus is when the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows freely throughout the brain’s ventricular system and the subarachnoid space
- Non-communicating hydrocephalus is when there is a physical blockage such as a tumor somewhere in the ventricular system
Causes: The most common causes of congenital and acquired hydrocephalus are listed below.
For more in-depth information we highly encourage you to read the following resources:
- Diagnosis of Hydrocephalus webpage on our website
- Hydrocephalus Resource Library. Use keywords in your search to view articles
- PreNatal Diagnosis
- Hydrocephalus diagnosed in Infants, Children and Teenagers
- Adults Diagnosed in Young and Middle Age
- Adults Diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
- Click here for other useful links