2-Minute Neuroscience: Hydrocephalus
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  • Release Date: 2024-04-03
  • brain
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • CSF
  • ventricular system
Video Introduction

The content is sourced from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLNI2upLi7I

Hydrocephalus is a condition that involves the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a fluid that is produced in the cavities of the brain known as the ventricles. In this video, I discuss types of hydrocephalus, effects of hydrocephalus, and the most common treatment for hydrocephalus.[1] 


Welcome to 2-minute neuroscience, where I explain neuroscience topics in 2 minutes or less. In this installment I will discuss hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition that involves the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a fluid that is produced in the cavities of the brain known as the ventricles. CSF flows through and around the brain and spinal cord and is eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. It serves a number of functions including acting as a cushion, delivering nutrients, and removing harmful substances.

Hydrocephalus can occur due to excess production of CSF, impaired reabsorption of CSF into the bloodstream, or a blockage in the ventricular system that causes CSF to accumulate. Hydrocephalus is mainly classified as either communicating or non-communicating. Communicating hydrocephalus does not involve a blockage in the ventricular system. Non-communicating hydrocephalus involves a blockage, and is the most common cause of hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus can be present at birth or it can be acquired later in life.

When CSF accumulates in the ventricles, this causes the brain to become enlarged. The increased brain size can lead to increased pressure in the skull, which can lead to the compression of the brain and a variety of symptoms, some of which may be life threatening. When hydrocephalus occurs in infants, their skull is more capable of expanding, so their heads often become enlarged but there may be more time before the onset of other symptoms. In adults, however, the skull does not generally expand, and symptoms may appear more quickly.

Treatment for hydrocephalus involves an attempt to drain the excess CSF, and often this involves using a cerebral shunt. A cerebral shunt is a plastic tube connected to a catheter. One end of the catheter is placed at the site of increased pressure in the ventricles and the other is often placed in the lining of the abdominal cavity. CSF is diverted to the abdominal cavity, where it can safely drain.

  1. Vanderah TW, Gould DJ. Nolte's The Human Brain. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016.
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Challenged, N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Hydrocephalus. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1159 (accessed on 25 May 2024).
Challenged N. 2-Minute Neuroscience: Hydrocephalus. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1159. Accessed May 25, 2024.
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Hydrocephalus" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1159 (accessed May 25, 2024).
Challenged, N. (2024, April 03). 2-Minute Neuroscience: Hydrocephalus. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/video/video_detail/1159
Challenged, Neuroscientifically. "2-Minute Neuroscience: Hydrocephalus." Encyclopedia. Web. 03 April, 2024.
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