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Hydrocephalus is a condition characterized by an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the open space (ventricles) of the brain. CSF surrounds the brain and spinal cord and flows around them. When the flow of the CSF is blocked, fluid begins to accumulate, causing the ventricles to enlarge and the pressure inside the head to increase.

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Spring Fling Event for Children with Hydrocephalus

Families of children with hydrocephalus are invited to join us on Saturday, March 30, 2019 for a day of treats and activities, and an interactive presentation by Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons. Learn more.

What You Need to Know

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  • There are several types of hydrocephalus, including normal pressure hydrocephalus (seen in older adults), obstructive hydrocephalus and congenital hydrocephalus.
  • Causes of hydrocephalus include head injury, surgery, bleeding in the brain, tumors, genetic problems or infection.
  • Symptoms may include impaired gait and balance, lack of bladder control, difficulty in thinking and remembering, headaches and vision problems.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment improves the chances of a good recovery.

Patient Resources

Why Choose Johns Hopkins for Treatment of Hydrocephalus?


Our Physicians

Our specialized multidisciplinary team is highly trained and dedicated to evaluating and treating the various types of hydrocephalus. Many of our patients have seen several other doctors before they find our specialized team. Our experience and expertise make us the best possible treatment center for the resolution of these types of conditions.

Meet Our Physicians:

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Our Treatments

At Johns Hopkins Cerebral Fluid Center, your doctors have access to the full range of procedures for hydrocephalus treatment, including shunts, stents, large volume lumbar puncture, extended cerebrospinal fluid drainage trial, intracranial pressure monitoring and nuclear medicine shunt patency.

Our Patient Care

Our goal is to eliminate the misdiagnosis that commonly occurs in patients with hydrocephalus, and to provide the best medical and surgical treatment so they can regain their health and continue to lead productive, meaningful lives.

Cerebral Spinal Fluid Disorders: Frequently Asked Questions

Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Mark Luciano answers commonly asked questions about normal pressure hydrocephalus, pseudotumor cerebri and cerebral spinal fluid leaks, including how these disorders are diagnosed and treated.

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus | Patricia's Story

After 18 frustrating months without a diagnosis for her problems with balance, memory and bladder function, Delaware resident Patricia's neurologist consulted Abhay Moghekar at the Johns Hopkins Cerebral Fluid Center, where she learned she had normal pressure hydrocephalus. Hear what the team did to get Patricia back to gardening and enjoying life.