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Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Program

The Yale Neurosurgery Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) Program is the busiest NPH program in Connecticut and one of the busiest in the region and the nation. Our highly specialized team consists of dedicated physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, and occupational therapists who care for patients with NPH and are well versed in its presentation, progression, and treatment.

NPH is a condition characterized by the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. It is a condition of “too much water in the brain.” It is not fully understood why this happens, but when this fluid or “water” builds up in the brain, the patient can develop trouble walking, difficulty controlling urine, and have mild memory loss or impairment. Roughly over 700,000 Americans have NPH, although less than 20% are appropriately diagnosed.

Our Approach

Diagnosis requires a systematic approach. At Yale, our specialists most often use a 3-day inpatient trial of lumbar drain trial to help determine if symptoms respond to removing the extra fluid in the brain. In addition, while patients are receiving inpatient care, they are evaluated by physical and occupational therapists. If a patient demonstrates improvement we then recommend placement of a permanent drain or shunt, which is most often performed on the same admission.

At Yale Neurosurgery we are committed to providing the best care for individuals who have or are suspected of having NPH. We work with patients, their families, and other caregivers to understand the impact the symptoms are having on their life. We look forward to caring for our patients and their family members.