Hydrocephalus of the brain in children photos
Few people think about the fact that our skull is not only «the seat of the mind», but almost completely closed ivory ball. In it the brain is of particular channels and volumes filled with cerebrospinal fluid – CSF. Like all of the fluid, the cerebrospinal fluid is under pressure. As a result of many reasons the pressure may increase, but in a closed space, the liquid has a very limited capacity in order to reduce the pressure. The result is a condition called «hydrocephalus of the brain.» The second title of dropsy. How it manifests itself and how is it treated in children?
It is known that many pathological conditions can occur in children. This is an early discovery, on the one hand, could be a good sign, and may be unfavorable. In the first case, the doctors are happy that the timely detection of the fault helped him to remove or take control while the body is not irreversibly changed. But on the other hand, the fact of discovery in children hydrocephalus at an early age scares parents because it is necessary to consult with neurosurgeons. What are the symptoms you need to pay attention to parents?
Signs of hydrocephalus
First of all, we need to reassure most parents that this hydrocephalus in which the child is excessively large head which rests on his shoulders, and delayed mental and physical development and poor prognosis are now rare. The cause of this condition usually be the lack of medical knowledge of parents, their asocial behavior, neglect of the child or a complete lack of medical care. Parents should consult a pediatrician or pediatric neurologist if the following signs in a child:
- the appearance of heaving or tense Fontanelle or Fontanelle closed after one year of age;
- the gradual appearance of more pronounced venous network under the skin of the head;
- increasing the head in size, and suspiciously quickly – the head grows, overtaking the body and creating a breach of proportion;
- the extension forwards of the frontal departments of a skull and «overhang» above the eye sockets in advanced cases;
- the baby often throws her head;
- delayed physical development;
- weakness, lethargy, lack of activity and interest;
- bad mood, frequent crying;
- bad, naughty dream.
It should be noted that in early childhood the child has the fontanelles and the bones of the skull are moveable and soft. Therefore, children with hydrocephalus, diagnosed before one year of age, have all chances to make a full recovery with proper treatment.If the symptoms of dropsy appeared after the closure of the fontanelles or at an early age it didn’t pay enough attention, the consequences of this condition become more severe. So, when you occlusive hydrocephalus and hypertensive forms the cerebrospinal fluid begins to compress the brain. If it happens to bark, it can develop dementia, but if the pressure of the CSF will try to «push» the brain through the foramen Magnum, it is fraught with a dislocation of the brain stem and quick death of the child.
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What are the signs of the development of hydrocephalus in children older than two years?
They are virtually indistinguishable from those of adults and manifest cerebral neurological symptoms, which is a household name «increased intracranial pressure», and doctors – «intracranial hypertension» or «hypertension-gidroliticheski syndrome». The symptoms are the following:
- Bursting headache without clear localization, uniform, «from the inside». The adult can compare the nature of the headache with the head, which «pumped pump».
- The maximum intensity of cephalgic syndrome expressed in the morning. Because when a person lies, the «drain from the head» is much worse than in a vertical position.
- The condition quickly improves for dinner, the headaches disappear with the beginning of motor activity or significantly reduced, until the baby reaches kindergarten or school.
- Possible progressive decline in vision: a child is prescribed more and more «strong» points.
- In more severe cases, may cause nausea or vomiting that does not bring relief and appears «at the peak» of headache.
- In the study of the fundus detect «stagnation» in the form of swelling of the nipple of the optic nerve.
- Reduced academic performance, memory, sometimes there are nosebleeds.
- In some cases, can progress enuresis.
Of course, it is not necessary to wait for the full development of the symptoms. Enough with the interval of 6 months to undergo a neurological exam and perform a brain MRI on the same MRI scanner to monitor changes (a progressive increase of the ventricles, cortical atrophy). It should be remembered that hydrocephalus many different forms. Thus, the internal hydrocephalus leads to an increase in the lateral ventricles and cisterns of the brain, to increase in the third and fourth ventricle. External (communicating hydrocephalus) goes to the subarachnoid space of the cerebral hemispheres.
Treatment of hydrocephalus must be the consequence of a carefully planned strategy. So, in stable forms may be appointed Diacarbum. But often requires surgical intervention, especially in toddlers at risk undergoing intrauterine infection, meningitis or prematurity. Often do such a palliative but effective operation as bypass surgery: excess CSF just «dumped» (shunted), for example, into the abdominal cavity. This operation is safe and eliminates the symptoms of hydrocephalus. The only thing to do is have regular visits with a neurosurgeon.