What is Hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus means "water on the brain", hydrocephalus is one of the most frequent pediatric neurosurgical disorder. In reality most cases of hydrocephalus represent a build up of spinal fluid inside the brain. Everyone produces spinal fluid inside their brains every minute of their life. The brain fluid is very similar to the liquid portion of blood and contains various salts, sodium and glucose. The fluid is primarily produced in connected chambers within the brain known as ventricles. For adult the fluid pruduce maybe about one pint per day. Brain fluid then circulates through the ventricles and around the brain and spinal cord inside the head. Eventually it is reabsorbed over the surface of the brain into large veins which carry the fluid back to the body. The spinal fluid production, flow and absorption maintains a protective
environment to the nervous system. There is no loss of fluids or the salts contained in the spinal fluid.
Hydrocephalus is when something has occurred to prevent this orderly procession of events. When this occurs, there is a relative build up of brain spinal fluid in the brain which can lead to injury or even death if not treated. It is very important to realize that hydrocephalus is the result of some event on the nervous system and brain development.