Patients with three main symptoms, or a combination of other symptoms characteristic of hydrocephalus, should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Before your doctor can recommend a course of treatment, he will conduct an interview and a complete neurological examination, which includes additional tests that are necessary. A neurological examination will also help determine the severity of your condition. There are a number of studies that can help identify the cause and severity of the condition:
- Computed tomography (CT) of the brain: The resulting image may show ventricular enlargement or occlusion (obstruction) in the outflow tract.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), like CT, will help assess the size of brain structures and further investigate the movement of SMR through the ventricles using special modes. MRI provides more detailed information than CT, so in most cases, this study has an advantage in terms of diagnosis.
- Lumbar puncture (LB): under local anesthesia, a thin needle is inserted into the space where the SMR circulates at the lumbar level. In open hydrocephalus, the so-called normotensive, or hydrocephalus of the elderly, lumbar puncture is performed to measure the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid and analyze its composition. This procedure can help determine whether the shunt is expected to improve prognostically after the shunt pressure. If you feel better after the drug and the symptoms decrease, even temporarily, this may indicate that shunt surgery will be appropriate.
- Monitoring of ICP (intracranial pressure) can help detect abnormal pressure waves or an array of pressure waves, the relationship to the patient's condition and their appearance. Monitoring requires a special device and includes the need to stay in the hospital around the clock for the duration of the study.