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Adult onset normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a frequently misdiagnosed condition in the elderly and symptoms are frequently put down to aging. It is believed that up to 14% of long-term care facilities have the condition but many are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. An estimated 1 in 20 people diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's actually have NPH. Symptoms include a shuffling gait, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence and dementia. Diagnosis can be done through tests such as MRI or CT scan. Treatment involves surgically implanting a shunt. The procedure carries a risk of infection, hemorrhage or death. 5% of patients undergoing the procedure suffer from complications but 80% receive significant improvement.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The Ponca City News
About: Normal pressure hydrocephalus frequently misdiagnosed in the elderly
Date: 6 February 2005
Source: The Ponca City News
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