Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
Other Rare Causes of Dementia
by Jos Van der Poel
NPH is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid, which causes the ventricles of the brain to enlarge. This is thought to stretch the brain tissue, causing a triad of symptoms. Whether NPH is a disease-entity, is discutable.
Symptoms and course
- Gait disturbances (swaying, with stiff leggs)
- Urinary incontinence
- Mild dementia
Causes and risk factors
In most cases, the cause of this disorder is unknown. In some patients a brain operation or infection has led to the condition.
6 – 10 % of all dementia patients.
- CT-scan to detect enlarged ventricles
- MRI to detect enlarged ventricles and oedema at sides of ventricles
- Lumbar puncture to estimate CSF pressure and analysis of the fluid
Care and treatment
Placement of CSF shunt.
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- Zeilstra D, Bergen H; Value of brain biopsy in decision to shunt patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)Clinical Noerology and Neurosurgery, 1997, 99, S214
- Nakamizo A et al ; Occurrence of subdural hematoma and resolution of gait disturbance in a patient treated with shunting for normal pressure hydrocephalus Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, 2002, 104, 315-317
- Savolainen S et al ; Five-year outcome of normal pressure hydrocephalus with or without a shunt : pedictive value of the clinical signs, neurophysological evaluation and infusion test Acta Neurochirurgica, 2002, 144: 515-523
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Last Updated: Freitag, 09. Oktober 2009