Several diagnostic tests are performed to help diagnose NPH beyond the normal patient history and physical exam. These include a CT or MRI, lumbar puncture, lab tests as well as neuropsychological testing.
Treatment of NPH
The only effective treatment of NPH involves the surgical implantation of a shunt system, a device designed to drain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) away from the nervous system, allowing the enlarged ventricles to decrease in size in an effort to relieve the symptoms of NPH. This procedure is performed by the neurosurgeon.
The patient's length of hospital stay varies from two to seven days.
Following the procedure, the patient may improve quickly or it may take several weeks or months. Physical and occupational therapy is sometimes beneficial in the recovery process post-operatively. In some patients, little to no improvement may be seen.
NPH is an on-going condition and will require long-term, follow-up care by a physician. Regular medical check-ups are required with the neurosurgeon or neurologist.
- Improved gait
- Improvement with memory functions
- Improvement of urinary problems
Emotional support is an important aspect of the recovery and should be discussed with the physician, family and friends.