Brain biomechanics: mathematical modeling of hydrocephalus

Neurol Res. 2000 Jan;22(1):19-24. doi: 10.1080/01616412.2000.11741033.


The considerable amount of literature on mathematical models of hydrocephalus and other brain abnormalities is critically reviewed. These models have various degrees of mathematical sophistication, and have influenced not only the diagnosis of hydrocephalus, but also its treatment with CSF shunts. The mathematical models are classified into two classes, pressure-volume models, and consolidation models. Advantages and disadvantages of both types are pointed out with a view to removing the confusion frequently generated by the technical aspects of the subject. The conclusion is reached that, while none of the current models are good enough to be of immediate use to the neurosurgeon, mathematical models are likely in the future to be a powerful tool for the understanding and the treatment of hydrocephalus, as well as other conditions related to brain biomechanics. The amount of mathematics has been kept to the absolute minimum, but it is cited and appended for those who would like to dig further into this fascinating area of research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / physiopathology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Models, Theoretical