Hydrocephalus is the condition of increased pressure in the fluid chambers (known as ventricles of the brain). Usually this is associated with enlargement of these fluid chambers. The fluid filled cavities are located in the centre of the brain and if they are enlarged and have increased pressure, this will exert abnormal pressure on the surrounding brain. This can cause damage to the surrounding brain tissue.
There are a number of different types of hydrocephalus, and different conditions that will result in the development of hydrocephalus. These are too varied to discuss in detail here. Hydrocephalus can develop suddenly and present as an emergency or can develop slowly over many months.
The treatment for hydrocephalus is to decrease the pressure in the fluid chambers by either creating new internal pathways for the brain fluid (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) to drain; or alternatively to create a pathway for excess fluid to drain out of the brain into another part of the brain.