Thursday, September 10, 2015

You Could Fill One of America's Largest Cities With A Disease Many People Don't Know About

Did you know that one million Americans are living with a condition known as hydrocephalus? 

That's more people that the total population of cities like: Boston, MA; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; Washington, DC; or Indianapolis, IN.

In fact, the odds are that you probably know someone with this condition and don't even know it and sadly they may not know it either.

When my mother was diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus no one in my circle of friends, family or colleagues had ever heard of the disease.  In fact as late as 2011 I was still encountering health professionals who had never heard of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus or who were under the impression that only babies had hydrocephalus.  Some even thought that you could recognize a person with hydrocephalus by their appearance. 

While more is being done to raise awareness about this condition, it is still not widely known, especially in the African-American and Hispanic communities.   So in spite of my dread of being in front of the camera I posted this video on Youtube to remind people that September is Hydrocephalus Awareness Month and that hydrocephalus can affect anyone.  

In the following video Dr. Adam Mednick appears on The Dr. Steve Show with his patient to discuss Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) which is a brain disorder caused by the buildup of too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. "Many health care professionals are unaware of NPH," says Dr. Mednick, a neurologist and author of the book "NPH - From Diagnosis To Treatment".

"NPH can be difficult to diagnose, and it is commonly misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's. It's important to be aware of the symptoms and get the right diagnosis because unlike these diseases, NPH can be reversed," says Dr. Mednick. For more information on NPH visit Dr. Mednick's website:

"Additional information:

NPH is called "normal" because the condition develops very slowly, and initial tests often show that patients have normal brain pressure, when they actually do not.

It is estimated that 375,000 Americans have NPH, but unfortunately, only about 11,000 have been treated. Those who go un-diagnosed live the balance of their lives in wheelchairs and adult diapers.

Unlike Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, many NPH patients can have their symptoms reversed by having a neurosurgeon insert a shunt in the brain to drain away excess fluid. In most cases, these people can return to their normal lives.

Adam S. Mednick, M.D., Ph.D. is a neurologist in private practice in North Haven, CT. He is board-certified by the American Academy of Psychiatry and Neurology."

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