Cerebrospinal fluid (cSF) is natural clear fluid produced by the brain. The average adult produces about 500ml of cSF daily. Under normal condition, cSF circulates through the brain, ventricles and the spinal cord acting as a protective cushion for the delicate brain and spinal cord tissue and as a provider of nutrients. It is subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream.
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cSF builds up within the ventricles (fluid-containing cavities) in the brain resulting in high pressure. When the balance between production and absorption of cSF is affected, one or more of the ventricles become enlarged as cSF accumulates. In adults, the skull is rigid and cannot expand, so the pressure in the brain may increase profoundly. If left untreated, the high pressure may result in brain damage and death.
Who is affected?
In adults, hydrocephalus often usually develops after an injury or illness (E.g. bleeding, infection, trauma or tumor).
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