Friday, October 07, 2016

Is it Alzheimer's or Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus: An Often Misdiagnosed, Treatable Brain Condition

September was Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. Never heard of this condition? You’re not alone.

Often referred to as a treatable form of dementia, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) is a chronic neurological disorder where an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) causes the fluid-filled ventricles in the brain to gradually enlarge, sometimes with little or no increase in intracranial pressure. While NPH can occur in adults of any age, it disproportionately appears in older individuals, and is accompanied by some or all of a triad of symptoms that include gait disturbances, dementia, and impaired bladder control.

Left untreated, NPH can cause an individual to degenerate into what appears to be dementia and is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. Sometimes, this condition remains undiagnosed because symptoms are thought to be part of the aging process. 

The major difference between AD and NPH is that there are treatment options for those with NPH. The current treatment for NPH is the insertion of a shunt into the brain that diverts fluid from the brain to another part of the body to be absorbed. Individuals successfully treated for NPH experience a partial to full regression of their symptoms, allowing them to return to normal activities of daily living. This makes misdiagnosis even more troublesome, as those who could be receiving treatment are not, leading to otherwise avoidable progression of the degeneration and, in many cases, unnecessary placement in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

If you’re interested in receiving a new diagnosis or don’t know what to ask when looking for a second opinion, visit the Hydrocephalus Association’s Physicians Directory page:

You can also help spread the word about this condition by posting a video of how you #MakeWaves for hydrocephalus awareness on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. Your post could be featured on the Hydrocephalus Association’s social media pages! For more information and examples of waves, please visit

The above post was provided by Make Waves to help with awareness of NPH which is sometimes diagnosed as Alzheimer's.  It is the purpose of this blog to bring all the info possible concerning different forms of dementia.  Thank you Martha Pace for the posting.

God Bless and Keep You and This Country of Ours!

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