There are many types of Hydrocephalus.
This means that hydrocephalus is present at birth. It is important to remember that this does not mean it is hereditary. Often the exact cause cannot be determined.
Other forms of brain haemorrhage, including those occurring in adults (“stroke”), can result in this type of post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus.
This is an infection of the membranes covering the brain. The inflammation and debris from this infection block the drainage pathways resulting in hydrocephalus. Meningitis can occur at any age but it is more common in children. The incidence of one form, haemophilus meningitis, has been drastically reduced by HIB vaccine.
In very rare circumstances, hydrocephalus is due to hereditary factors, which might affect future generations. Some forms of hydrocephalus require no specific treatment. Other forms are temporary and do not require long-term treatment. However, most forms do require treatment, and most often than not this is surgery. The usual treatment is to insert a shunting device. It is important to note that this does not cure the hydrocephalus and damage to the brain tissue remains. Shunting controls the pressure by draining excess CSF, so preventing the condition becoming worse. An alternative treatment may be for a shunt. However, not all types of hydrocephalus can be treated by this method and it is not available in all neurosurgical units.