Hydrocephalus and Cerebrospinal Fluids Essay

540 Words 3 Pages
Hydrocephalus is a condition characterized by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulating in excess in the brain. Ventricles, which are spaces in the brain, begin growing abnormally large because of the excess fluid. The widening ventricles can cause harmful pressure on brain tissues. Normally, CSF flows freely through the ventricles of the brain, coats the brain and spinal cord, and is reabsorbed by bloodstream. This fluid is constantly produced, so equilibrium between production and absorption is essential for the body. Anything that disrupts the normal absorption or flow of CSF will cause an unhealthy surplus. The pressure caused by an overabundance of CSF against the brain tissue causes hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus can be broken down in to …show more content…
Hydrocephalus caused by a stroke or other injury is referred to as hydrocephalus ex-vacuo. The final type, normal pressure hydrocephalus, is an increased amount of CSF in the brain’s ventricles. Hydrocephalus comes in many forms but nearly all have the same effects. The causes, along with hydrocephalus itself, are not well understood by many. The causes that are known, however, all lead back to either the overproduction, obstruction, or poor absorption of CSF in the brain. One of the major causes of congenital hydrocephalus is aqueductal stenosis. Aqueductal stenosis is when the aqueduct of Sylvius, a passageway between the third and fourth ventricles in the brain, becomes extremely narrow and difficult for CSF to pass through. This is usually the result of a genetic defect. Hydrocephalus is often one of the results of various other diseases of the nervous system. Poor absorption of CSF is usually the result of inflammation of the brain tissue caused by a disease or injury. Developmental disorders, such as spina bifida, have been linked to causing hydrocephalus. Meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhages, tumors, and any type of traumatic head injury all have the possibility of leading to hydrocephalus as well. It is also possible for hydrocephalus to lay dormant and occur long after any of these events or conditions occur, sometimes not happening until years later.

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