Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Hydrocephalus and shunt

Just wondering if anyone can comment on a similar experience. My brother had a major bleed in March. He has been in a skilled nursing facility getting rehab. His aneurysm was on the anterior communicating artery, so recovery has been slow. A lumbar puncture was done to check for NPH which showed some improvement- enough to schedule a shunt procedure for August. Yesterday he suffered 2 seizures and was back in the hospital. I’m wondering if a shunt truly helps with the wild stories he currently tells and with other problems associated with this particular artery. Thank you-

Hey Cocoa,
Welcome to Ben’s Friends and sorry to hear of your brother’s situation.
You speak of hydrocephalus, shunts and ‘this particular artery’, which seems a little confusing. Let me explain, Hydrocephalus is a collection of fluid within the ventricles of the brain and a shunt is used to drain that fluid from the ventricles when the fluid cannot drain naturally, but this is not ‘directly’ related to a particular artery. In very basic terms the ventricular system is like the brains drainage system, when this drain becomes blocked, hydrocephalus occurs.

You state “My brother had a major bleed in March”, a major bleed is also known as a ‘Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH)’. For some people the blood from a SAH collecting within the ventricles can cause a blockage and result in hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus can cause thinking and reasoning problems. Often treatment of the hydrocephalus can relieve, can resolve, such issues. But this really can depend on how much damage the SAH has resulted in. For some the SAH can be catastrophic and result in a life altering injury/disability.

Hope it helps
Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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Hey Cocoa, welcome to the group! Sorry your brother is having troubles…be sure your family takes care of themselves first, that’s very important. Merl gave a very good explanation of hydrocephalus, here’s an article about it, it includes adults, so keep scrolling down…https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hydrocephalus/symptoms-causes/syc-20373604

The shunt as Merl said takes the pressure off the brain. I think of the brain in two ways, plumbing and the Interstate systems. When we have a SAH it effects both…His “wild stories” could be old memories mixing with new ones, they could be about the care he is receiving but hasn’t got the right words. Brain damage can take years to heal. Think of the Aesop fable about the turtle and the hare. We, who have had ruptures or even brain surgery have to be the turtle, but friends and family think we should be the hare. Hang in there!

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Dear Cocoa,welcome! wish had some answers but wanted to say sorry your going through this.But I think it’s so great your reaching out to others for answers.Want you to know will be sending good wishes to your brother.Hope he continues getting better.Your a loving sister.

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