Overload

Hydrocephalus

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

Hydrocephalus is also known as "water on the brain". It is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain.  This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, tunnel vision, and mental disability.  It very often results in various forms of spiritual experience from hallucinations to visions.  Hydrocephalus can also cause death.

Hydrocephalus affects both children and adult patients. According to the NIH website, there are an estimated 700,000 children and adults living with hydrocephalus in the USA alone.  Paediatric hydrocephalus affects one in every 500 live births.  In the past 25 years, death rates in the USA associated with hydrocephalus have decreased from 54% to 5%, but the rest of the world continues to suffer.

Symptoms

 

The symptoms depend on where the fluid is accumulating.  The organs are affected by the pressure and behave much as they do if there is a tumour – they misfunction – so there can be problems with bladder control, balance and gait or motor control in general, memory, vision, hearing and so on.

Other symptoms of increased intracranial pressure may include headaches, vomiting, nausea, papilledema, sleepiness or coma.

Elevated intracranial pressure may result in life threatening brain stem compression.

In infants with hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal fluid  builds up in the central nervous system, causing the fontanelle (soft spot) to bulge and the head to be larger than expected.

Treatment

 

According to Wikipedia
Hydrocephalus  remained an intractable condition until the 20th century, when shunts and other neurosurgical treatment modalities were developed. It is a lesser-known medical condition; relatively small amounts of research are conducted to improve treatments for hydrocephalus, and to this day there remains no cure for the condition”.

One of the most performed treatments for hydrocephalus is the cerebral shunt, which was first developed in 1960. The shunt must be implanted through neurosurgery into the patient's brain, a procedure which itself may cause brain damage.  An estimated 50% of all shunts fail within two years, requiring further surgery to replace the shunts.

Pediatric hydrocephalus in East Africa: prevalence, causes, treatments, and strategies for the future - Warf BC; East African Neurosurgical Research Collaboration; Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The burden of infant hydrocephalus in East Africa is significant, with more than 6000 new cases estimated per year. The majority is caused by neonatal infection, and should thus be preventable. With about 1 neurosurgeon per 10,000,000 people in East Africa, initial treatment for hydrocephalus is often unavailable. This also renders shunt dependence more dangerous in East Africa than in the developed world. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy combined with choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC) has proven effective in avoiding shunt dependence in the majority of infants. Unlike shunts, most failures of endoscopic treatment are evident in the early months after surgery, with later failures being rare. Easily accessible clinical parameters can be used to predict the likelihood of success in a given patient. There appears to be no developmental advantage to shunt dependence compared to treatment by ETV/CPC. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 20849782

This is one area where finding the cause and avoiding the cause is imperative.  The best treatment is thus prevention, and as with all these problems, there can be more than one cause.

Causes

This baby  only lived for a few weeks

In a person without hydrocephalus, CSF continuously circulates through the brain, its ventricles and the spinal cord and is continuously drained away into the circulatory system. In a person with hydrocephalus one of two things may be happening to cause the build up of fluid: 

  • there may be a blockage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) outflow in the ventricles or in the subarachnoid space over the brain or there may be a malformation blocking normal drainage of the fluid.  e.g., stenosis of the cerebral aqueduct or obstruction of the interventricular foramina.
  • there may be an overproduction of the CSF fluid

 If we then trace back, we can ask the question – ‘well what causes the blockage or the overproduction of fluid?’ and here it starts to get more complex.  There are over 180 different causes of hydrocephalus listed in the medical literature, but if you look at them they are not root causes, they are further symptoms, intermediate conditions in the cause effect chain.  The question we need to ask is - what is the root cause?

Physical damage/surgery

Two years to the day after a bullet tore into her brain, former

congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords said in a TV interview

 that her recovery is "a struggle" but "family" is the best part

of her day.  She spoke haltingly and her husband, former

astronaut Mark Kelly, often finished her sentences.

Various sorts of physical damage to the head can cause hydrocephalus, both to babies and children and adults.

An injury may block the return of CSF to the circulation. If CSF accumulates in the subarachnoid space, the condition is called external hydrocephalus.

In this condition, pressure is applied to the brain externally, compressing neural tissues and causing brain damage.  

Republican Gabrielle Giffords has hydrocephalus as a result of a gunshot wound to the head during the 2011 Tucson shooting.

Other brain damage

Many of the other types of brain damage can also result in or develop into hydrocephalus, for example,   Parkinson’s disease,  Multiple Sclerosis,  ADHD,  Brain haemorrhage,  Brain tumour,  Concussion,  Stroke,  Meningitis,  Traumatic injury to the brain and head banging,  Encephalitis,  and  Epidural hematoma.  Hydrocephalus may be present among children with Autism.   Premature birth can occasionally result in hydrocephalus as can a difficult birth, if they result in damage to the baby.

Radiation

If the radiation is at the resonant frequency of one of the organs in your brain it will resonate it.  So, for example, the signals coming off electrical apparatus, including phones, TVs, bedside clocks, microwaves, as well as over headpower lines or similar sources may just have the right frequency to act as a resonator.   All radiation whether 'cosmic' or electromagnetic impacts our bodies and depending on its frequency it resonates different parts of us.  The reason that nuclear radiation is so dangerous is that it impacts cells, but what we appear to have overlooked is that all radiation impacts some part of us.

 

Every aggregate in our bodies - organs, cells, the body itself, has natural ‘resonance’.  Resonance is a substance’s natural tendency to oscillate – vibrate – at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies, known as the thing’s resonant frequency.  And a baby's organs can resonate too, in such a way that the mother may be unaware of the damage being done, as her organs are not resonating because they are a different size.

Agenesis of the corpus callosum is found in about 5 per 1,000 births and it is due to maldevelopment or, secondary, to destructive lesions. ........ A case of fetal multicystic dysplastic kidney disease (Potter type II syndrome) and complete agenesis of the corpus callosum demonstrated by the presence of Probst bundles associated with colpocephaly occurring in the same mother in her two consecutive pregnancies is reported. Data regarding possible teratogenetic effect due to electromagnetic exposure in utero have also been investigated and raised suspicions as a potential risk factor.  PMID: 19065324

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals are implicated as another cause of hydrocephalus.  I have used the information from the eHealthme website so that you can look up yourselves which pharmaceuticals are implicated in causing hydrocephalus.  The figures are not anecdotal, they come from Adverse Drug Reaction reports collected by the FDA and SEDA, so in some senses they are the tip of the iceberg.  Follow this LINK.  Then scroll down to find "Drugs that can cause".  The picture is somewhat confused by the introduction of a symptom they call 'Water on the brain', which has its own entry.   For example:

On Dec, 09, 2016: 65,121 people reported to have side effects when taking Effexor.
Among them, 50 people (0.08%) have Water On The Brain

 

Inherited genes

Recent advances in mapping of the human genome have identified some apparently genetic causes of hydrocephalus.  But this is not a cause, it is a symptom.  What caused the faulty gene?

And the geneticists don't know, but the following may be responsible...... classified as a toxin, - the nanoparticle - invented by scientists and being released into the environment by scientists in the belief that they do no harm, except that yet other researchers have realised they do a lot of harm......

....DNA damage occurs chemically or physically by nanomaterials. Chemical and physical damage are associated with point mutation by free radicals and double strand brake, respectively. The failure of DNA repair and accumulation of mutations might occur when inflammation is prolonged, and finally normal cells could become malignant. These free radicals can not only damage cells but also induce signaling molecules containing immunoreaction. Nanoparticles and asbestos also induce the production of free radicals. .... Taken together,... a variety of diseases [may be] induced by nanomaterials. PMID: 25097864

Parasites

The role of parasites in many diseases including brain damage is well known, as such one should expect that they also have a role in hydrocephalus - and they do.....

neurocysticercosis

A 64-year-old man presented with a history of severe headache, an unsteady gait, and occasional urinary incontinence. Magnetic resonance imaging of the thoraco-lumbar spine revealed multiple, cystic, contrast-enhancing intraspinal lesions. A computed tomographic scan of the brain showed marked ventricular dilatation but no intraparenchymal lesions or intraventricular cysticercal lesions. This case of acute hydrocephalus was found to be caused by isolated intraspinal neurocysticercosis and was treated by ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement and surgical removal of the intraspinal lesions (which were histologically confirmed as neurocysticercosis) ......  Isolated spinal neurocysticercosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of acute hydrocephalus when no explanation is found in the brain, particularly in geographical regions endemic for cysticercosis. PMID: 24383427

Neurocysticercosis are cysts caused by parasites.  Another example, as this is a not uncommon cause:

We describe three cases of imported NCC recently admitted to San Bortolo Hospital in Vicenza, located in Northern Italy......In nonendemic countries, NCC should be included in the differential diagnosis of all patients coming from endemic areas with seizures, hydrocephalus, and compatible lesions on brain imaging. ..... Screening of patient's household contacts for Taenia solium infection should always be carried out. PMID: 24383650

Taenia solium is the pork tapeworm belonging to cyclophyllid cestodes in the family Taeniidae. It is generally an intestinal zoonotic parasite and is found throughout the world, and is most prevalent in countries where pork is eaten.

Girl with hydrocephalus due to congenital toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family - see Being with cats.  Another serious carrier of parasites is the fox which spreads Echinococcosis.  In countries where dogs and cats are not wormed and their faeces safely disposed of, domestic dogs and cats can also be a problem.  This parasite can also cause brain damage and blindness.

Between 1966-1983 ten children with hydrocephalus following toxoplasmosis were shunted. Hydrocephalus was diagnosed at ages ranging from birth to one year. Except for one with stenosis of the foramen of Monro all had aqueductal obstruction. A high ventricular fluid pressure and distinct cerebral mantle reduction were always present. Intracerebral calcifications were common. Only 1 had normal eyes. All 9 survivors remained shunt dependent during a mean follow-up period of 9.6 years. One fifth of revisions were related to problems specific for toxoplasma-associated hydrocephalus. A temporary external ventricular drainage or a multiple shunt system were found useful in some cases. Two thirds of the children had a reasonable outcome. Neonatal hydrocephalus, extensive intracerebral calcification and severe ocular involvement were poor prognostic indicators. PMID: 3879067

Toxins and heavy metals

 

Toxins of all sorts from pesticides to insecticides, from herbicides to rodenticides affect the foetus as well as affecting children and adults.  The damage tends to be multi-faceted and hydrocephalus is but one outcome.

Dietary exposures to food pollutants such as mycotoxin(s) or pesticide(s) are most significant due to their adverse effects on the production and reproduction in animals and the human population. The present investigation was conducted to evaluate the teratogenic potential of citrinin (CIT) and endosulfan either alone or in combination in pregnant rats during gestational days 6-20. ..... There was no maternal mortality, however, reduced maternal weight gain and number of live fetuses and increased fetal resorptions were recorded in all the treated groups. The fetal body weights and crown to rump lengths were significantly decreased and the per cent gross, visceral and skeletal anomalies were significantly increased in the fetuses of dams of all the treated groups. The internal hydrocephalus, cerebellar hypoplasia, microphthalmia, contracted and notched kidneys, multilobulated liver, dilated renal pelvis, incomplete ossification of skull bones, rib anomalies and sacral and caudal vertebrae agenesis were the important fetal malformations.    PMID: 17186572

Citrinin is a mycotoxin found and used in the production of human foods, such as grain, cheese, sake, and red pigments. Citrinin has also been found in commercial red yeast rice supplements.  Endosulfan is an  organochlorine insecticide and acaricide.  The paper above, however, is but one example of hundreds on PubMed with different toxic products.

The role of heavy metals in this should not be forgotten, both lead and mercury are implicated particularly in brain damage as a whole, although they are not the only heavy metals to be implicated.  For example

Mercury accumulates in nervous tissue causing neurological and psychiatric manifestations. Numerous clinical findings have been described in patients that suffered chronic mercury intoxication. Some findings, such as hydrocephalus, have been described only in experimental studies. Following, we present a case of 50 year-old man with a 3-month history of severe frontal headache episodes and vision loss together with a history of asthenia, anorexia, muscle pain, fatigue and neuropsychiatric symptoms. The magnetic resonance imaging showed hydrocephalus and stenosis of aqueduct of Sylvius. This patient reported that he worked as laboratory metallurgic auxiliary for over 30 years. During this time, he had been chronically exposed to elemental mercury. The metals whole blood test was normal, except by his blood mercury level that was 61.5 μg/L (normal ~1 μg/L).  PMID: 22521429

 

Another source of mercury is the Thiomersal in some Vaccines of which more shortly.

In this we should not forget the role of dental amalgam fillings, as they are mercury based.  Where a filling is leaking or poor dental work has been undertaken, then the mercury may be the cause.  Note that the mercury may not affect the mother, but it could affect the baby.

 

Taking drugs

 

Whether a drug is legal or illegal seems to be a little arbitrary, however, the taking of presently illegal drugs is a proven cause, for example.....

Hydranencephaly is a relatively rare but severe structural brain abnormality that often results in perinatal death. ....We report a male infant with hydranencephaly found to have a previously unreported six amino acid deletion in one copy of the FLVCR2 gene following a pregnancy complicated by poor prenatal care and maternal cocaine use. Although our patient currently presents with developmental delays, he is showing progress and gaining some skills.  PMID: 25131804

Nutritional deprivation

Vitamin imbalance - both overload and deficiency as well as Mineral imbalance - overload and deficiency can result in hydrocephalus of various sorts in the unborn child.  Although there are links with mineral and vitamin deficiency, along with deficiency in other essential foodstuffs such as amino acids, it is not generally understood how overdosing is as bad as deficiency. For example from eHealthme:

On Dec, 09, 2016: 54,648 people reported to have side effects when taking Vitamins.  Among them, 66 people (0.12%) have Water On The Brain


Bacterial infection

A large number of bacterial infections cause brain damage, as such one would expect that bacterial infection can also cause hydrocephalus, and indeed this is the case.  The following example shows how the various types of brain damage cannot in reality be separated - a bacterial infection can cause multiple problems:

 

This retrospective study included all infants <12 months of age who were hospitalized at Children's Medical Center, Dallas and had culture-confirmed bacterial meningitis and a brain MRI from January 1, 2001 to December 1, 2011. ....  RESULTS:  Of the 440 infants who had a positive CSF culture result, 111 (25%) had a pathogen isolated from CSF and were enrolled in the study. Of these, 68% (75/111) had a brain MRI performed during the hospitalization; abnormalities included leptomeningeal enhancement (57%), cerebral infarct (43%), subdural empyema (52%), cerebritis (26%), hydrocephalus (20%), and abscess (11%).   PMID: 24726712

Viral infection

Hydrocephalus is occasionally a complication of a host of viral infections.  These can strike the baby in the womb, but they are not at all unknown in adults.  Furthermore, the infections can occur in people who may have been exposed to the virus in childhood, but where the virus resurfaces at a time of low immunity............

 

Chronic lymphocytic meningoencephalitis with low glucose and increased adenosine deaminase (ADA) levels in the CSF together with hydrocephalus represents a diagnostic challenge of varied etiology and only seldom is due to a viral (mumps) infection. PMID: 24491977

and

This study analyzed 156 cases of fetal hydrocephalus treated at Osaka National Hospital from 1992 to 2011 to review current methods for diagnosing and treating fetal hydrocephalus, and for estimating its clinical outcome. ....Diagnosis was made before 21 weeks of gestation in 24% of cases, from the first day of 22 weeks to the sixth day of 27 weeks in 27%, and after the first day of 28 weeks in 49%. ... the final outcome was analyzed for 90 cases. Of these, 17% of the patients died, 21% showed severe retardation, 13% moderate retardation, 26% mild retardation, and 23% showed a good outcome. The long-term outcome was mostly influenced by the basic disease ....   hydrocephalus due to fetal virus infection led to poor outcomes. For accurate diagnosis and proper counseling, established protocols are important for the diagnosis and treatment ... including TORCH  - toxoplasma, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex screening. PMID: 23089488

Fungal infection

There are a number of extremely unpleasant fungal infections that can cause hydrocephalus and many result from infections wich are passed to the fetus in the womb.

Arch Dis Child. 1957 Apr;32(162):161-3.  Hydrocephalus after intrauterine fungal infection. BURRY AF.  PMID:  13425669

and

The clinical picture of candidal vaginitis was described for the first time in 1792. The connection with yeasts was already discovered in the 19th century. Not until the last 35 years, however, have the epidemiologic aspects of genital mycoses and the diagnostic and therapeutic principles been systematically developed. The rise in the incidence of the disease is due to several factors: the administration of corticosteroids, cystostatic agents, and oral contraceptives as well as socioeconomic circumstances. Two serious complications of vaginal yeast infection in pregnant women should be noted: the amniotic infection syndrome and neonatal contamination at the time of delivery.  PMID: 6761085

Hypoxia

 

Shortage of oxygen can cause brain damage in general in a fetus, and this can be caused by smoking and air pollution for example.  It also appears to be able to cause hydrocephalus:

Signs of tissue hypoxia in infantile hydrocephalus.  Granholm L, Siesjö BK.  Dev Med Child Neurol Suppl. 1970;22:Suppl 22:73-7. No abstract available.   PMID:  5276411

Vaccines

A subject to cause arguments in every camp.  But there are reasons why vaccines may cause hydrocephalus in the long term.  Where the vaccine used in the injection is a live virus, there are instances where it, although apparently vanquished by the immune system, lays low and continues to attack, albeit at a much reduced rate.  One example is the herpes virus, read on:

Herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are human neurotropic viruses that establish latent infection in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) for the entire life of the host. From the DRG they can reactivate to cause human morbidity and mortality.   PMID: 24142852

We have seen from the PubMed paper above that rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex can all cause hydrocephalus in the fetus if the mother has his virus and that  - 'hydrocephalus due to fetal virus infection led to poor outcomes'.

Thus if, by vaccine, we inject the mother with a live virus, there is the risk that although the mother may have developed antibodies, the virus - being still present and active - may attack the fetus.  There are also cases where the use of a live virus has caused hydrocephalus in young possibly immunocompromised children

The Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination (BCG) contributed widely to reduce tuberculosis incidence in developing countries. The aim of this report was to assess the clinical "spectrum" and outcome of tuberculous meningitis in 16 Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated Tunisian children. They were 9 boys and 7 girls aged 2 to 168 months (median 72 months ± 65.88). Patients presented mainly with nonspecific symptoms. Neurologic severity was classified as grade I (n = 6) and grade II or III (n = 10). At short-term course, the majority of patients developed serious complications: hydrocephalus (n = 12), seizures (n = 8), tuberculoma (n = 6), and acute respiratory failure (n = 2). Three patients died. Among survivors, 4 patients showed a complete recovery while 9 developed permanent sequelae which were mild (n = 6) to severe (n = 3). Despite the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination,....vaccinated children have shown common presentation of tuberculous meningitis in terms of severity and poor outcome. PMID: 22190501

Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (commonly referred to as BCG) is a vaccine against tuberculosis that is prepared from a strain of the attenuated live bovine tuberculosis bacillus, Mycobacterium bovis.

Some vaccines contain Thiomersal, which is mercury based.  For a full list see this LINK.  As a consequence, there is the risk of mercury poisoning and mercury poisoning can cause hydrocephalus.

How it works

BUT  all should not be doom and gloom - Olivia Maccoux
was born with hydrocephalus, but many of her
classmates and members of her community would
not know she lives with this condition. They would
also not know she has had over 90 operations since birth.

Why do some of these poor little children and adults get hallucinations, or visions or out of body experiences from hydrocephalus?

The simple answer is Brain damage.

You will need to read this section to see how and why, but in effect, certain functions that normally prevent spiritual experience such as the reasoning system and memory are often impaired meaning that the person has more chance of comunication with their composer.   See How spiritual experience works, for more details.

 

 

 

 

References and further reading

  • Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy: prevention, screening, and treatment.  Paquet C, Yudin MH; Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.  J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013 Jan;35(1):78-81. English, French.   PMID: 23343802

Link to the Hydrocephalus Organisation website in the USA.  In the UK the main charity is SHINE.

And this is a wonderful video - a lovely little girl called Brittney who should fill everyone with this disease with hope.

Related observations