People will assume that children and adults who have hydrocephalus are mentally delayed and many will have mental and physical challenges. However, there is a range of intelligence from the very bright and normal to the severely mentally delayed. Some patients are physically challenged, others are essentially normal. It is our goal that whatever level the person is functioning, he or she should have the opportunity to be the best that he or she can be. Read about specific cases below.
Case One: 22 Year Old Female
Physical handicap: poor balance, walked with limp.
CAT Scan: Severe hydrocephalus with less than 30% of normal brain tissue, the rest was fluid.
Intelligence: Initial impression: average person.
Job: UN translator
Case Two: 18 Year Old Female
Physical handicap: poor balance, left hemiparesis. Had hemophilus meningitis during first 18 months of life, then had a stroke secondary to arteritis from the meningitis.
CAT SCAN: Davidorff-Dyke Syndrome (one side of brain smaller than other side), porencephalic cyst, moderate hydrocephalus secondary to the meningitis. Over the next 15 years I lost count, but she had more than 20 shunt related surgeries.
Intelligence: Severely mentally delayed by neuropsychological testing. However, she could remember every word and could sing almost every popular country and western song. This was the "channel" for this person to learn. She now lives in a group home.
Job: has worked at small store jobs, has been "typical" teenager with "typical" problems of growing up.
Case Three: 50 Year Old Female
Suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage from an aneurysm rupture. Initially began to improve, then did poorly. Was transferred to a nursing home for 4 months. Was admitted to the hospital for an unrelated problem. Was reevaluated by a neurologist who obtained a follow-up CAT Scan of the brain showing hydrocephalus. After a Ventricular-Peritoneal Shunt, she dramatically improved, ultimately went home and is now independent again.