How Hydrocephalus Causes Cerebral Palsy

Sometimes we look to our Facebook Page for ideas on what parents and the public are looking to better understand about CP. A common topic that has come up is how hydrocephalus causes Cerebral Palsy. Hydrocephalus itself is a less understood topic, and so determining its connection with a complex condition like Cerebral Palsy can be understandably difficult.

Let’s go through the basics on hydrocephalus and Cerebral Palsy:

What Is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a term that breaks down as hydro (water) and cephalus (loosely meaning ‘head’). As such, hydrocephalus was formerly described as ‘water on the brain,’ though the fluid within the head is not water but, instead, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid is intended to provide nutrition and support to the brain but, when it does not absorb properly, instead builds up within the skull. When it accumulates enough, the fluid causes the malleable skull to stretch, causing the extended shape that marks the condition.

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