Normal pressure hydrocephalus: are you missing the signs?

J Gerontol Nurs. 2008 Feb;34(2):27-33; quiz 34-5. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20080201-11.


Although normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a potentially treatable neurological condition, many individuals with NPH will never receive treatment because the diagnosis is missed and the symptoms are attributed to other disorders. Left untreated, NPH causes significant physical and emotional suffering and eventually leads to premature death. It is imperative that patients with gait problems, slowness of thought or actions, or urinary incontinence be evaluated and screened for NPH. Geriatric nurses are in the best position to intervene by recognizing the signs of NPH and making early and appropriate referrals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / adverse effects
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / complications
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnosis*
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / nursing
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / surgery
  • Nursing Assessment*
  • Urination Disorders / etiology