'Itís been nearly a year since her NPH diagnosis and surgery, and Patricia is back to a life that includes a lot of travel. ďItís miraculous,Ē Patricia and Pam both said of the way things came together.'
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Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus is a neurological condition which normally occurs in adults 55-years and older. NPH is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) causing the ventricles of the brain to enlarge, in turn, stretching the nerve tissue of the brain causing a triad of symptoms.
How is NPH different from Alzheimer's or Parkinson's?
One quarter million Americans with some of the same symptoms as dementia, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's may actually have NPH.
Itís often difficult to tell the difference because the symptoms of NPH are in many ways similar to those of Alzheimerís or Parkinsonís. However, the feeling of feet glued to the floor, or difficulty walking is the first symptom to appear in NPH. And itís different from, for example, Parkinsonís tremors. In Alzheimerís, memory loss and confusion tend to be early symptoms, whereas in NPH these appear later. Fortunately, once NPH is confirmed, chances are it can be treated.
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More About Hydrocephalus
Hydrocephalus is an abnormal (excessive) accumulation of fluid in the head. The fluid is called cerebrospinal fluid, commonly referred to as CSF. The CSF is located and produced within cavities of the brain called ventricles. The function of CSF is to cushion the delicate brain and spinal cord tissue from injuries and maintain proper balance of nutrients around the central nervous system. Normally, the bloodstream absorbs most of the CSF produced on a daily basis. Every day your body produces a certain amount of CSF and that same amount of CSF is absorbed in the brain. When an imbalance occurs, an excess of CSF fluid builds up resulting in the condition known as hydrocephalus. Left untreated, hydrocephalus will create increased pressure in the head and may result in increased symptoms or brain damage.