Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (shunt)
Normal pressure hydrocephalus – a condition typically diagnosed in the elderly – occurs when excessive amounts of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up in CSF containing spaces of the brain. The treatment for normal pressure hydrocephalus is insertion of a shunt. A shunt is essentially a tube that drains the fluid away from the CSF containing cavities of the brain (ventricles) into the abdominal or chest wall cavity where the CSF is easily absorbed.
The most recent advancement in shunt technology includes valves that have the ability to drain CSF under different pressure settings. The valve pressures can be changed easily via a hand held magnetic controlling device that is placed just over the scalp. Once in place this method does not require further surgery. The surgeon can adjust the valve pressures to help control instances where there is over drainage or under drainage of CSF.