Normal pressure hydrocephalus with onset following a traumatic experience
Background: Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) is a neurological disorder caused by excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with resultant pressure to the brain. It is a rare syndrome usually found in the sixth and seventh decades of life. The condition is often misdiagnosed because of its non specific symptoms and chronic nature, but recently NPH is receiving a great deal of media and medical attention, leading to a more efficient and timely diagnosis and treatment.
Methods: This is a case report of a 40 year old widow, who presented with eight weeks history of recurrent vomiting, fearfulness and withdrawal to self following a traumatic experience. Prior to above presentation patient was normal and stable with no past history of physical or mental illness.
Results: Clinical features met the criteria for diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following a traumatic experience. Clinical examination and investigations including (skull xray) conducted were all within normal limits. Two weeks into admission patient developed seizure, facial nerve palsy, and progressive weakness of lower limbs which warranted further investigation. The patient had Computer Tomography scan which revealed NPH, she had a ventro-peritoneal shunt at the neurosurgical unit of the hospital.
Conclusion: Despite the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of hydrocephalus, there is still much to be learned about hydrocephalus and the subtle forms it can take. Even though it is more common in infants and elderly, it can occur at any time in life and as a result of a variety of causes.
Keywords: Hydrocephalus, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Female, Adult