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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Enlarged Brain Cavities or Ventricles for Age. Anyone?

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Author Topic: Enlarged Brain Cavities or Ventricles for Age. Anyone?
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
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My son recently diagnosed with Chiari Malformation 1 had a normal flow study. We are seeking a second opinion. In the meantime, our ILADS doc got a copy of the report and wanted my son to be seen within a month.

I'm concerned about what he saw that triggered this need for an appointment between appointments.

The neurosurgeon said he had larger than usual ventricles for a person his age- 21. He does have dementia type symptoms that are beyond brain fog.

His neuro testing shows slow processing speed and memory issues.

Is this Lyme related? I can't wait until October 7th for the appointment. Too many unknowns.

I am seeking out the CINE more specialized flow study of the CSF. Hate to go to the Cleveland Clinic but they do have a Chiari specialist.

Any advice? Thoughts?


Things are never dull. After 3 fighting Lyme, 2 are in remission. Youngest is still sick, age 22. He has new diagnosed Chiari Malformation and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

Posts: 1366 | From Perrysburg, Ohio | Registered: Nov 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 743

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Sounds really scary! I don't know anything about it. Did you try a search here?

[group hug]

Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 94168 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Frequent Contributor (5K+ posts)
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Results of a quick Google search:

What Is Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus?

The brain and spinal cord are surrounded by a clear fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid is produced and stored in cavities in the brain called ventricles. It circulates around the brain, moving from ventricle to ventricle. The purposes of the fluid are to cushion and protect the brain and spinal cord, to supply them with nutrients, and to remove some of their waste products. Any excess fluid drains away from the brain and is absorbed by veins at the top of the brain.

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is too much CSF in the ventricles. This occurs when the natural system for draining and absorbing extra CSF does not work right. The ventricles enlarge to accommodate the extra fluid and then press on different parts of the brain, causing a number of different symptoms. Hydrocephalus has many different causes. Some people are born with the condition, while others develop it during their lives.

If the CSF doesn't drain, it can build up in the ventricles and cause them to press against the brain. In normal pressure hydrocephalus, this build-up of fluid is gradual. Despite this, there are still symptoms associated with it.

Most people with normal pressure hydrocephalus are over 60. The symptoms can include cognitive changes, clumsiness and incontinence. If the cognitive symptoms are so severe that they disrupt daily life, the patient is said to have dementia. However, normal pressure hydrocephalus, unlike disorders like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, can be reversed. A shunt can be surgically implanted to drain off the excess CSF.

Sometimes, the condition seems to have no cause or is a complication of a tumor, infection or brain hemorrhage.

What Is Hydrocephalus?

The term hydrocephalus is derived from two words: "hydro," meaning water, and "cephalus," referring to the head.

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up within the ventricles (fluid-containing cavities) of the brain and may increase pressure within the head. Although hydrocephalus often is described as "water on the brain," the "water" actually is CSF — a clear fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. CSF has three crucial functions: 1) it acts as a "shock absorber" for the brain and spinal cord; 2) it acts as a vehicle for delivering nutrients to the brain and removing waste; and 3) it flows between the cranium and spine to regulate changes in pressure within the brain.

The average adult produces about one pint of CSF daily. When an injury or illness alters the circulation of CSF, one or more of the ventricles becomes enlarged as CSF accumulates. In an adult, the skull is rigid and cannot expand, so the pressure in the brain may increase profoundly.

Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations.

Hydrocephalus can occur at any age, but is most common in infants and adults age 60 and older. It affects adult males and females, as well as people of different races, about equally. Experts believe that normal pressure hydrocephalus accounts for five to six percent of all dementia cases.

Normal pressure hydrocephalus or neuroborreliosis?
Aboul-Enein F1, Kristoferitsch W.

Author information



An 80-year-old woman presented with progressive cognitive decline and with a 6-month history of gait ataxia. Brain MRI depicted enlarged ventricles and periventricular lesions. Clinical improvement after CSF spinal tap test suggested a normal pressure hydrocephalus syndrome. But CSF pleocytosis with activated lymphocytes and plasma cells and intrathecal Borrelia burgdorferi specific antibody production led to the diagnosis of active Lyme neuroborreliosis. Clinical symptoms of NPH resolved after a course of ceftriaxone.


Neurological examination, MMSE, brain MRI, lumbar puncture, spinal tap test.


Dementia due Borrelia burgdorferi infection with chronic meningitis was reversible after treatment with iv.2 g ceftriaxone per day for 4 weeks.


Rare but treatable dementias must be diagnosed promptly to slow down or even reverse cognitive decline.

Posts: 9931 | From Maryland | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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