Hydrocephalus is caused by a disturbance in the circulation of the spinal fluid and a widening of the ventricles of the brain. Both children and adults can be affected. In adults the disease leads to gait and balance difficulties, mental decline and incontinence. Up to 2 % of all individuals above 65 years of age are estimated to be affected by hydrocephalus.
The disease can be treated with neurosurgery, usually through a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt which drains the CSF from the ventricles of the brain to the stomach via a silicon tube. The results after treatment are good, showing a significant reduction of symptoms as well as an improved quality of life in 50-80% of patients.
Hydrocephalus is more frequent in adults than what is commonly known. The purpose of the register is to get at common national description of the condition focusing on investigation, treatment and follow up regarding e.g. clinical outcome and the presence of complications. In this way the care for the individual patient can improve through the development of scientifically based care programs leading to a safer and more effective care of the patient.
Specific purpose of the register
- To gather information regarding adults with hydrocephalus, living in Sweden
- To evaluate the outcome of treatment and quality of life
- To monitor complications after surgical treatment
- To contribute to an equal treatment of patients with hydrocephalus throughout Sweden
- To contribute to a better control of quality, follow up on a clinical level and to the performance of research, improvement and development within the field