The term Hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words "hydro" meaning water and "cephalus" meaning head.
As the name implies, it is a condition in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain.
Congenital Hydrocephalus is present at birth and may be caused by either events or influences that occur during fetal development, or genetic abnormalities.
Acquired Hydrocephalus develops at the time of birth or at some point afterward. This type of Hydrocephalus can affect individuals of all ages and may be caused by injury or disease.
Hydrocephalus may result from inherited genetic abnormalities (such as the genetic defect that causes aqueductal stenosis) or developmental disorders (such as those associated with neural tube defects including spina bifida and encephalocele).
Hydrocephalus is most often treated by surgically inserting a shunt system. This system diverts the flow of CSF from the CNS to another area of the body where it can be absorbed as part of the normal circulatory process.