Treatable dementia

Could the diagnose Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease instead be a treatable cerebrospinal fluid, CSF, disorder?

A person with a triad of symptoms as: gait disturbance or difficulty walking, mild dementia and impaired bladder control could suffer from Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) which is treatable by inserting a shunt. These symptoms may occur individually and at different times and may vary in level of seriousness.

  • Mild dementia is described as a loss of interest in daily activities, forgetfulness, difficulty dealing with routine tasks and short-term memory loss. NPH is one of the few treatable forms of dementia. 
  • Impairment in bladder control in mild cases is typically characterized by urinary frequency and urgency, and in severe cases is a complete loss of bladder control or urinary incontinence. Some people with NPH never display signs of bladder problems.
  • Gait disturbances range in severity from mild imbalance to the inability to stand or walk at all. Gait is often widebased, short-stepped, slow and shuffling. Gait disturbance is often the most pronounced symptom and the first to become apparent.

 

Treatable dementia

There is a disease called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, NPH, which is easily misdiagnosed as dementia, Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. It most often occurs in people over the age of 55, where the ventricles are enlarged. NPH is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid, CSF, causing the ventricles of the brain to enlarge, in turn, stretching the nerve tissue of the brain causing a triad of symptoms. The cardinal symptoms of NPH are difficulty in balance and walking, dementia, and urinary incontinence. Some studies show that as many as 10% of the dementia population are thought to have NPH.

NPH can be treated by inserting a shunt and is therefore called "treatable dementia". The Likvor CELDA™ System measures the dynamics of the CSF system and the results are used to diagnose NPH. The Likvor CELDA™ System is successfully used for investigating shunt function in patients with existing shunts.

The Likvor CELDA™ System from Likvor AB is used for assessing the CSF dynamics. This is done to support diagnosis of NPH, as well as for follow-up and shunt evaluation after surgical treatment.