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Curr Drug Targets. 2019 Feb 14. doi: 10.2174/1389450120666190214121342. [Epub ahead of print]

Recent advances in rational diagnosis and treatment of normal pressure hydrocephalus: A critical appraisal on novel diagnostic, therapy monitoring and treatment modalities.

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Department of Radiology, Baoji Center Hospital, Baoji, Shaanxi. China.
Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Selangor, Puncak Alam Campus, Bandar Puncak Alam 42300, Selangor. Malaysia.
Department of Radiology, Baoji Center Hospital No. 8 Jiang Tan Road, Baoji 721008, Shaanxi. China.



Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a critical brain disorder in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is accumulated in the brain's ventricles causing damage or disruption of the brain tissues. Amongst various signs and symptoms, difficulty in walking, blurred speech, impaired decision making and critical thinking, and loss of bladder and bowl control are considered the hallmark features of NPH.


The current review was aimed to present a comprehensive overview and critical appraisal of majorly employed neuroimaging techniques for rational diagnosis and effective monitoring of effectiveness of employed therapeutic intervention for NPH. Moreover, a critical overview of recent developments and utilization of pharmacological agents for treatment of hydrocephalus has also been appraised.


Considering the complications associated with the shunt-based surgical operations, consistent monitoring of shunting via neuroimaging techniques hold greater clinical significance. Despite having extensive applicability of MRI and CT scan, these conventional neuroimaging techniques are associated with misdiagnosis or several health risks to patients. Recent advances in MRI (i.e., Sagittal-MRI, coronal-MRI, Time-SLIP (time-spatial-labeling-inversion-pulse), PC-MRI and diffusion-tensor-imaging (DTI)) have shown promising applicability in diagnosis of NPH. Having associated with several adverse effects with surgical interventions, non-invasive approaches (pharmacological agents) have earned greater interest of scientists, medical professional, and healthcare providers. Amongst pharmacological agents, diuretics, isosorbide, osmotic agents, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, glucocorticoids, NSAIDs, digoxin, and gold-198 have been employed for management of NPH and prevention of secondary sensory/intellectual complications.


Employment of rational diagnostic tool and therapeutic modalities avoids misleading diagnosis and sophisticated management of hydrocephalus by efficient reduction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) production, reduction of fibrotic and inflammatory cascades secondary to meningitis and hemorrhage, and protection of brain from further deterioration.


Hydrocephalus; corticosteroids; diagnosis; isosorbide mononitrate ; magnetic resonance imaging; therapeutic modalities

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