What is Hydrocephalus?

  • Introduction
  • Types of hydrocephalus
  • Primary causes of hydrocephalus
  • What is cerebrospinal fluid?
  • The brain in a nutshell


The word hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek–hydro means water, and cephalus means head. It is a neurological condition that occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the ventricles and/or subarachnoid space of the brain. The increase of intracranial pressure (ICP) can either be the result of an overproduction of CSF (a condition known as choroid plexus papilloma), an obstruction of the flow of CSF, or a failure of the structures of the brain to reabsorb the fluid. Although there is little public awareness about hydrocephalus, according to recent statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hydrocephalus affects approximately 1 out of every 1,000 children born each year. Hydrocephalus can also be acquired after birth from a variety of causes.