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Adult Hydrocephalus Program

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Abdomen – the part of the body below the chest and above the pelvis where the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen and pancreas are located in a small amount fluid

Acetazolamide – a medicine used to treat pseudotumor cerebri

Aerobic exercise – moderate to intense exercise that helps strengthen the heart and lungs by making them work harder

Alzheimer’s Disease – a brain disease that slowly, over time, destroys memory and thinking skills; the most common type of dementia

Anesthesia – medicines used before surgery or procedures to block feeling in a specific part of the body or to put you to sleep so you feel nothing and have no memory of the surgery

Anesthesiologist – a physician who has had extra training and specializes in safely administering anesthesia

Antibiotic – medicine that fights infections caused by bacteria

Aqueduct – a structure that carries water or fluid. See cerebral aqueduct. 

Aqueductal stenosis – a blockage or narrowing in the cerebral aqueduct that prevents the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and allows fluid to build up in the third ventricle

Arrested Hydrocephalus – buildup of fluid in the brain that is constant

Benign – not life-threatening; not malignant

Catheter – a flexible tube that carries fluid from one place to another

Cerebral aqueduct – a channel located in the midbrain that allows cerebrospinal fluid to flow naturally from the third ventricle to the fourth ventricle; also called the Aqueduct of Sylvius

Cerebral spinal fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, CSF) – the fluid that moves around the brain and spinal cord to cushion, protect and cleanse the brain and spine cord

Cerebri – related to the largest part of the brain (cerebrum)

Cerebrum – the largest part of the brain

Cognition – to acquire knowledge and to understand

Corticosteroid – a medicine that may be used to treat pseudotumor cerebri

Cranium – the skull

CSF – (see cerebral spinal fluid)

Dementia – a medical condition that affects memory and reasoning, and may cause personality changes 

Endoscope – an instrument that a physician inserts into the body to see inside

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) – a medical procedure to correct a blockage in the brain that prevents the proper flow of cerebrospinal fluid

ETV– (see endoscopic third ventriculostomy)

Fenestration – to perforate or cut through something

Furosemide – a medicine used to treat pseudotumor cerebri

Gait – how a person walks

Hippocampus – the part of the brain that is involved in memory, and organizing and storing information

Hydrocephalus – a medical disorder characterized by fluid buildup in the brain

Hypertension – increased pressure

Idiopathic – unknown cause

Incontinence – inability to control urine or bowel movement

Intracranial – inside the skull

Intra-operative navigation – special imaging equipment that allows a physician to see inside the body during surgery

Laparoscope – a medical instrument inserted into the abdomen in order to view organs or to allow a surgeon to perform surgery without making a large incision

Lumbar puncture – (see spinal tap)

Lumboperitonial shunt placement – a system of tubes (catheters) and a one-way valve that is used to control fluid buildup, which is placed in the spinal column

MRI – the abbreviation for magnetic resonance imaging; imaging equipment that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of tissue and organs inside the body

Narcotic pain medication – prescription medicine used to dull pain; also can cause sleepiness and alter behavior, and can be addictive

Nervous System – the system of nerves that sends impulses to and from the brain to control functions

Neurologist – a physician who has additional training in the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of conditions of the nervous system (brain, spine and nerves)

Neurology – a medical specialty the deals with the anatomy, function and disorders of the nervous system (brain, spine and nerves)

Neuro-ophthalmologist – a physician who has additional training in the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of conditions of the nerves that affect the eyes and eyesight

Neuro-ophthalmology – a medical subspecialty of both ophthalmology and neurology that focuses on nerves that affect vision

Neurosurgeon – a surgeon who has additional training in the surgical treatment of conditions of the nervous system (brain, spine and nerves)

Neurosurgery – a surgical specialty that focuses on treating conditions of the nervous system (brain, spine and nerves) 

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) – a buildup of fluid in the brain that may cause various symptoms, such as forgetfulness or confusion, and problems walking or controlling urination

NPH – (see Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus)

Optic nerve – the nerve that sends signals from the retina at the back of the eye to the brain, which allows a person to see

Optic nerve sheath – the outer covering of the optic nerve

Optic nerve sheath fenestration – a procedure to perforate or cut through the outer covering of the optic nerve to relieve pressure on the nerve

Papilledemea – swelling of the optic nerve

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation – a medical specialty that focuses on restoring function, especially in individuals with disabilities and those who are recovering from a procedure or illness; also known as Physiatry or Rehabilitation Medicine

Physical Therapy – therapy (such as exercise, heat treatment and massage) to preserve, restore or enhance movement and function 

Physician Assistant – a certified medical professional who is licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician

Pseudotumor Cerebri – a type of hydrocephalus that primarily affects adults and has symptoms that may suggest a brain tumor when there is no tumor; also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension and benign intracranial hypertension

Pulsatile tinnitus – ringing or buzzing in the ears that occurs at the same rhythm as the heart’s beating

Spinal tap – a diagnostic or treatment procedure in which spinal fluid is removed from the spinal cord; also known as lumbar puncture

Shunt – a system that includes catheters (small tubes) and a one-way valve that connects the tubes; used to move fluid from one location to another

Sinus – a hollow space in bone or tissue

Spine/Spinal column – the bones, muscles and tendons that surround and protect the spinal cord; also referred to as the backbone

Spinal cord – part of the Central Nervous System; the bundle of nerves and tissue that runs through the spinal column and transmits impulses to and from the brain

Stenosis – abnormal narrowing of an opening or passage in the body

Steroid – a group of natural and man-made chemical substances; steroids can be used to treat inflammation and swelling

Subarachnoid Space – a membrane-filled space, which is located between the thin layers of tissue located beneath the skull (dura mater and arachnoid mater) and the pia mater, which covers the brain tissue

Thrombosis – a blood clot

Tinnitus – ringing or buzzing in the ears that no one else can hear

Valve – a device to control the flow of fluid

Vein – “tubes” in the body that carry blood back to the heart

Venography – a procedure to obtain an X-ray of a vein after an injection of contrast dye; the dye helps identify abnormalities in the vein

Venous – relating to veins and their function in circulating blood

Ventricle – a small chamber or cavity in the body; for example, ventricles exist in the brain and the heart

Ventriculoperitoneal shunt – a system of small tubes (catheters) and a one-way valve that helps remove excess fluid from the ventricles in the brain; one of the treatments for adult hydrocephalus