The Hope Project (THP): Understanding Communicating Hydrocephalus

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Hydrocephalus is a condition characterized by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the ventricles of the brain. Communicating Hydrocephalus is when the flow of CSF is blocked once it exits the ventricle, however it is called “communicating” because there is still flow between the ventricles when they are open. This condition is complicated to explain to non-medical people, but this is going to be a simplified explanation of Hydrocephalus.


This article provides insight into the etiology (causes), the physiological effects, the neuropathology, and management of Hydrocephalus.


What is Communicating Hydrocephalus?


Communicating Hydrocephalus is an excessive accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain. This results in an abnormal enlargement of the spaces in the brain, called ventricles, causing potential harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain. This is a condition that could be dangerous for many people if it is not treated. It can lead to many neurological disorders and may be fatal. There are two main types of this condition, congenital, meaning it was present at birth, or acquired, meaning after birth.



What does a Hydrocephalus patient feel?


Communicating Hydrocephalus has complicated medical terminologies to explain what it is. However, through the symptoms that patients experience, it may be easier for a non-medical person to understand. Patients' symptoms vary depending on whether they have had this condition since birth or if they developed it over time.


As published on Medical News Today, patients who are considered congenital (condition since birth) tend to have breathing difficulties, arm and leg muscles may be stiff and prone to contractions, some developmental stages may be delayed, such as sitting up or crawling, and the fontanel, the soft spot on the top of the head, is tense and bulges outward and may experience irritability, drowsiness, or both.


On the other hand, patients who have acquired hydrocephalus may experience bowel incontinence, confusion, disorientation, drowsiness and lethargy, headaches, irritability, which may get worse, lack of appetite, nausea, personality changes, problems with eyesight, such as blurred or double vision, seizures or fits, urinary, incontinence, vomiting, and walking difficulties, especially in adults.

These symptoms vary from one patient to another, however, if experiencing any of these symptoms and are at risk of hydrocephalus, you should visit your doctor and comment on your symptoms and experiences.

What treatments can Hydrocephalus patients receive?


Hydrocephalus requires urgent treatment to reduce the pressure on the brain; otherwise, there is a serious risk of damage to the brainstem, which regulates functions such as breathing and heartbeat. Patients with hydrocephalus will usually need to have a shunt system surgically placed to help them drain the liquids in their brain. Doctors may have alternatives and other technologies to help patients.



What are the causes of Hydrocephalus?


Hydrocephalus is a condition caused by over 100 different reasons. However, one of the most self-explanatory reasons would be that too much CSF is produced. This is one of the predominant causes for congenital patients, however, in acquired patients, the main causes are hemorrhage, brain lesions, brain tumors, and other brain-related conditions. A doctor may be able to diagnose a patient's cause based on risk factors, medical history, age, etc.


Where can you learn more about Hydrocephalus?


There are a couple of organizations that support the teaching and awareness of Hydrocephalus. These include, but are not limited to, organizations such as Hydrocephalus Association, National Hydrocephalus Foundation, and Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation.


Conclusion


One form of Hydrocephalus is Communicating Hydrocephalus. This occurs when too much CSF is stored within the ventricles, and it is blocked once it exists. This is a condition that may be from birth or can be acquired throughout a patient’s lifetime. Treatment is necessary to help patients as it can be fatal. However, if treated a person can live a long, healthy life.


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Unwired India is a neurotech-startup that aims at integrating state-of-the-art research and developments in STEM, for catalyzing the transition of Neuroscience to Neurotechnology. We develop avant-garde non-invasive neurostimulation products used to solve some of the world’s most critical global issues and challenges. Our mission is to take cutting-edge brain research directly into the lives and homes of people, thereby fostering a unique culture of sustainable neuroscience and scientific literacy in India.

  • Founded in 2020, we are the pioneers of Nootropics and non-invasive Neurotechnology devices in the country, and offer so much more than high-quality, delicious Brain Nutrition products for daily cognitive support; a full-service health and fitness startup that has become an important part of the local community, here in New Delhi, India.

  • We develop non-GMO, all-natural nootropic (smart-drug) formulations, Himalayan herb blends, and specialized amino-nutraceutical interventions and supplements for enhanced brain function, cognition, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration.

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The Hope Project (THP) is a neuro-disorder awareness initiative within the organizational framework of Unwired India. The initiative aims at creating and scaling awareness against the stigma, fear, and apprehensions associated with Neurological disorders.


Aims: To promote and develop awareness across global masses and to emphasize the importance of early detection, in addition to fostering a healthy lifestyle- which is important in the management and treatment of these ailments.


WORK WITH US.

Register at http://www.unwiredindia.com/team/


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A friendly reminder: We've done our research, but you should too! Check our sources against your own and always exercise sound judgment.


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/181727#treatments

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hydrocephalus

https://www.hydroassoc.org/communicating-non-communicating-hydrocephalus/ 

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/

https://mpssociety.org/learn/education/fact-sheets/communicating-hydrocephalus/

https://www.brainandlife.org/Disorders/hydrocephalus/organization

Image Credits: https://www.pexels.com/  by Dominika Roseclay and Kindel Media 

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About the Author

Raquel Paz Bergia


Leader of The Hope Project & International Growth Ambassador (Madrid, Spain)


Raquel Paz Bergia is a writer from Spain who developed an interest in Neurology at an early age. Over the last few years, she has surrounded her studies around Cognitive Biomedical Engineering. She has a passion for learning and researching degenerative diseases and their impact on the community.


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