GeneralHYDROCEPHALUS IN THE ELDERLY (HAKIM-ADAMS SYNDROME)

14 September 2018by Prof. Dr. Alper Kaya0

Hakim-Adams syndrome is a hydrocephalus (abnormal buildup of fluid in the brain) disease seen in elderly patients (usually after 5th or 6th decade).  This disease has three typical findings: 1- Problems with walking (walking with small steps with feet spread apart), 2- Forgetfulness (dementia) and 3- Loss of bladder control. The sooner the disease is diagnosed and sooner it is operated, the sooner these three findings improve. These patients are treated by placing a shunt device to the brain. Shunt is device that drains the excessive fluid in the brain to the abdominal cavity. It is put in through a 2-cm incision to the head and the abdomen. The device is not visible from outside. It runs automatically by itself, it doesn’t have a battery. The fluid that drains into the abdomen is produced by the body itself, so it does not cause any discomfort. The device usually stays in for a lifetime. The patient can carry on his/her normal life with the device and it does not cause anything that negatively affects their lives. However, sometimes there can be problems like shunt blockage or shunt infections. In this case, the device is replaced.

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