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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) affects more of the older population than people recognize. The underestimation of this neurological condition is due in most part to the overlap of its symptoms to other forms of dementia as well as many other geriatric conditions. The objective of this paper was to research and contrast various methods of differentiation in the diagnosis of normal pressure hydrocephalus as well as find pretreatment indicators of successful surgery. Methods included reviewing of articles and studies done to evaluate which symptoms are most commonly presented in normal pressure hydrocephalus and their subtle differences from the symptoms of other neurodegenerative diseases. There are also comparisons of different theories as to the prevalence of normal pressure hydrocephalus and which, if any, symptoms are indicative of a correct diagnosis. Conclusions were as follows: there are guidelines, although controversial, that can be followed in trying to distinguish normal pressure hydrocephalus; there are some symptoms that are better prognosticators of successful surgery than others, and while surgery is often followed by the subsequent relapse of symptoms, this is possibly due to the comorbidity of other disorders with normal pressure hydrocephalus. Surgery should therefore be approached cautiously while weighing the risks versus the benefits. Normal pressure hydrocephalus seems to be fairly prevalent and when appropriate, some older people might be able to reverse their symptoms.

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