Hydrocephalus occurs when cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the ventricles (cavities) deep within the brain. Normally, cerebrospinal fluid flows through these passageways, but a buildup in the ventricles causes them to enlarge and put pressure on the brain, leading to damaged brain tissue and significant problems with the brain's ability to function. Hydrocephalus affects more than one million people in the United States. There is no cure for the condition, but treatment can help manage it.
Changes in the head, such as an abnormally large head or a head increasing in size at a fast rate are signs of hydrocephalus in infants. Infants with cerebrospinal fluid buildup may also experience seizures, irritability, poor feeding, vomiting, sleepiness, a lack of muscle tone or strength, poor response to touch, and have eyes that are fixed downward.
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