Dr. Kamal Thapar, MD., PhD., FRCSC., FAANS
1200 Oakleaf Way, Suite A, Altoona, WI 54720


Hydrocephalus is an excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear liquid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain and acts as a protective barrier or cushion. An excess of this fluid causes increased pressure in the brain.


– Genetic abnormalities such as spina bifida

– Intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding into the interconnected, fluid-filled spaces in the brain)

– Brain tumors

– Head injuries

– Meningitis


– Headache

– Nausea and/or vomiting

– Visual changes

– Difficulty with walking and feeling off balance

– Change in personality

– Memory loss


Various imaging studies may be needed to confirm the diagnosis of hydrocephalus and to identify the cause and extent of fluid accumulation including. These would include a CT scan of the head and an MRI of the brain.


Treatment for hydrocephalus is dependent on the cause, the amount of fluid accumulated and the overall health of the patient. A device called a shunt may be necessary to remove the excess fluid from the brain if the pressure in the brain is reaching an unsafe level.