Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)

Normal pressure hydrocephalus is an abnormal buildup of spinal fluid (CSF) within the ventricles of the brain. This causes the ventricles to enlarge, causing pressure on the brain. NPH can occur at any age, but it is most prevalent among the elderly. The characteristic symptoms of NPH include progressive mental impairment and dementia, difficulty balancing and walking, and urinary incontinence. Due to the similarities of the symptoms to other disorders, NPH is commonly misdiagnosed. At Georgia Brain & Spine Center, we follow the established guidelines for the multi-disciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of NPH. We work closely with neurologists, physical therapists, and neuro-psychologists to coordinate our patients’ detailed work-up. The testing includes a CT or MRI scan of the brain, a detailed neurologic exam, neuropsychological evaluation, gait assessment, high volume spinal tap, intracranial pressure monitoring, and re-evaluation of gait and neuropsychological testing following the spinal tap to document objective improvements. For patients who demonstrate a significant improvement following the spinal tap, we can offer the latest technology of the programmable ventricular-peritoneal shunt (VP shunt), to divert spinal fluid away from the ventricles in the brain, typically with significant improvement of symptoms and quality of life..