What is normal pressure hydrocephalus?

Normal pressure hydrocephalus, or NPH happens when too much cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain. The condition is often under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed as dementia. Symptoms can include:

  • Problems with walking
  • Memory loss and cognitive impairment
  • Loss of bladder control

How is NPH diagnosed?

The REVERT project is sharing best practices and exploring new ways of getting a more accurate diagnosis. Currently, the following tests may be used to diagnose NPH:

  • Gait (walking) tests
  • Cognitive assessment
  • Brain imaging (MRI or CT scan)
  • Lumbar puncture, drainage and/or infusion tests
 Image credit: Ève Barlier, 2021

How is NPH treated?

NPH can potentially be reversed by shunt surgery. In this procedure, a neurosurgeon implants a small, thin tube with a valve (the shunt) into the brain to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid into another part of the body, usually the abdomen.

To learn more about normal pressure hydrocephalus, you may find the following pages helpful:

In English

In French

Our Resources page also has a list of links and further reading about the normal pressure hydrocephalus.