General Enquiries 03455 211 811
Support Helpline 03455 211 300
Fundraising 03455 211 600

What is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a condition that affects the brain and how it functions. It can occur at any age but is more common in infants.

A clear, saltwater-like liquid called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) surrounds the brain. This fluid protects and nourishes the brain. It carries away waste from brain cells and contains important chemicals and nutrients.

Every day the brain produces about a pint of CSF which flows in a continuous circuit through the brain cavities (ventricles) and over the surface of the brain and spinal cord until it is absorbed by the body.

If the flow of CSF is blocked at any point, the fluid cannot drain away and will collect in the ventricles inside the brain. This causes them to swell which causes the surrounding tissue to stretch. This can also mean that the surface of the brain is pressed against the inside of the skull.

In babies and infants, the head will get bigger as the ventricles swell and increase the size of the brain. In older children and adults, the head size cannot increase, as the bones that form the skull are completely fused together.

The information in this section is available in a leaflet, “What is Hydrocephalus”. This may be downloaded in PDF format from our library.

Support us

Because of you we provide a lifetime commitment of support. Please continue to support us or donate today. Thank you.

Make a donation

Our latest news

All change - the move to Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
All change - the move to Personal Independence Payments (PIP)Moving from DLA to PIP - it's all change but we're here to support you.

Airspace EK take one giant leap for SBH Scotland
Airspace EK take a giant fundraising leap for SBH Scotland

CBE for SBH Scotland Chair, Dr Margo Whiteford

More news
Follow @SBHScotland on Twitter

SBH Scotland on Facebook

Our newsletter

We’d like to keep you up-to-date with information on our charity.

Sign up here for our newsletters.

* indicates required
Loading