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Managing Cognitive and Emotional Changes Associated with NPH August 24, 2012

Posted by mvarlan in Uncategorized.
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Understanding how NPH can affect your ability to process information and communicate with individuals is crucial in managing relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

Please join us for our upcoming patient support group meeting in partnership with the Hydrocephalus Association on October 30, 2012 from 4:00pm-6:00pm.

Dr. Jeannine Morrone-Stupinsky will discuss how an individual’s cognition can be affected by NPH and provide tools to improve his/her quality of life. Click here to view the event flyer for details.

Regards, Maggie Bobrowitz, RN, MBA
Neuroscience Program Coordinator
Barrow Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center

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What is the role of cerebrospinal fluid in NPH? August 15, 2012

Posted by mvarlan in Uncategorized.
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CSF is an acronym for cerebrospinal fluid. Your body makes CSF in hollow structures in the center of your brain called ‘ventricles.’ Specialized cells called ependymal cells line your ventricles and work in concert with capillaries underlying them to produce CSF from substances in your blood. They also circulate CSF throughout your brain and spinal cord by means of tiny tail-like appendages called cilia.

Cerebrospinal fluid plays a vital role in cushioning your brain and spinal cord and regulating the volume of blood in your brain. CSF is also responsible for bringing nutrients to the cells in your brain and removing toxins from your central nervous system.

Normal adults have about 125 to 150 cc of CSF in their brain at any given time. Your ependymal cells make 400-500 ml of this fluid each day and also reabsorb excess fluid naturally to maintain normal levels and pressure.

Individuals with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) do not reabsorb the excess CSF, causing a large volume of fluid to accumulate in the ventricles of the brain. This causes the nerve fibers in your brain to stretch, producing the typical symptoms of NPH: urinary incontinence, gait disturbances, and memory problems.

Regards,

Maggie Bobrowitz, RN, MBA
Neuroscience Program Coordinator
Barrow Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center

What causes Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus? August 10, 2012

Posted by mvarlan in Uncategorized.
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The simple answer: we have some clues, but don’t know for sure.

Hydrocephalus is an abnormal accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in your brain and can be present at birth (congenital) or acquired over the course of your life.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, or NPH, is a form of hydrocephalus that affects those over the age of 55, causing disturbing symptoms such as urinary incontinence, gait imbalance (difficulty walking), and memory difficulties.

The normal process of aging can lead to softening of the brain. This can cause the ventricles in your brain–hollow areas where CSF accumulates–to expand as a result of fluctuations in the amount and pressure of CSF. This expansion and the resulting pressure it puts on other areas of your brain can cause the classic symptoms of NPH.

NPH can develop as the result of head injury, cranial surgery, subarachnoid hemorrhage, meningitis, tumors, cysts, subdural hematomas, bleeding during surgery, and infections. Most patients will never know what caused NPH to develop, but fortunately the condition can be treated regardless of the cause.

Next week we will address treatment options for NPH.

Regards,

Maggie Bobrowitz, RN, MBA
Neuroscience Program Coordinator
Barrow Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center