Normal pressure hydrocephalus: diagnosis and treatment

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2008 Sep;8(5):371-6. doi: 10.1007/s11910-008-0058-2.


Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a syndrome of gait dysfunction and enlarged cerebral ventricles in the absence of another cause. It is frequently accompanied by frontal and subcortical cognitive deficits and bladder detrusor overactivity. NPH is rare relative to other potential causes of these symptoms in the elderly, but timely diagnosis can lead to reversal of symptoms through ventricular shunting. There are many tests used to predict possible response to surgery, such as MRI of the brain, formalized neuropsychological and gait testing, large-volume lumbar puncture, and prolonged lumbar drainage, but no one test has been validated to rule out potential response to surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnosis*
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / epidemiology
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / pathology
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / physiopathology
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / surgery
  • Incidence
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prevalence
  • Spinal Puncture
  • Urinary Incontinence / etiology