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Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Normal pressure hydrocephalus is a neurological condition that usually affects adults 55 years of age and older. It is caused by a build up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, causing an area of the brain to enlarge.

One quarter million Americans who think they have Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease may actually have normal pressure hydrocephalus. In many ways, the symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus are similar to Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. The primary symptoms of this disease are: difficulty in walking due to a feeling of feet being glued to the floor, dementia, forgetfulness and urinary incontinence . This disease produces no tremors as in Parkinson's disease, and memory loss and confusion appear later than in Alzheimer's disease. The symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus progress with time.

The longer the symptoms have been present, the less likely treatment will be successful. Normal pressure hydrocephalus can sometimes be treated by insertion of a shunt, or a long thin tube. When successful, this surgical procedure usually leads to improvement with walking and incontinence, but not with mental abilities . The sooner the patient obtains a diagnosis , the better the chance for success.

See Also:
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Parkinson's Disease
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Incontinence
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Mobility
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Comprehension/ Understanding
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Last updated December 15, 2014
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