hydro paper - Every morning, Michael Sample's parents wake...

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Every morning, Michael Sample’s parents wake him up and help him start his day by brushing his hair and teeth, helping him use the bathroom, and getting him dressed for school. You might think that Michael is a young child, but in reality he is a thirteen-year- old boy affected by hydrocephalus (D. Sample, personal communication, February 13, 2006). Every one in two thousand babies worldwide are born with hydrocephalus, an incurable disorder (Facts About Hydrocephalus, 2001). Although hydrocephalus is not a widely known disorder, the knowledge neuroscientists have about the varieties and causes of hydrocephalus are aiding them in the discovery of new treatments in hopes of making the lives of people with hydrocephalus better. Hydrocephalus is defined as an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles and/or subarachnoid spaces of the brain (Facts About Hydrocephalus, 2001). Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in the ventricles of the brain and circulates constantly throughout the brain and blood stream. There are many important purposes of cerebrospinal fluid; its most significant function being to protect and cushion the brain. It also provides nutrients and carries away waste. Cerebrospinal fluid must be produced and absorbed at a constant and balanced rate (What is Hydrocephalus, 2002). If this balance is not kept the intracranial pressure increases and hydrocephalus occurs. Hydrocephalus can be classified as congenital or acquired (Robinson, & Toporek, 1999). It also is divided into either communicating or noncommunicating. This means that there is four possible diagnoses of hydrocephalus: congenital communicating, congenital noncommunicating, acquired communicating and acquired noncommunicating.
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Hydro Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth, as was the case with Michael (D. Sample, personal communication, February 13, 2006). As stated in the article Facts About Hydrocephalus (2001), “more than fifty percent of cases of hydrocephalus are congenital” (pg.1). The symptoms associated with congenital hydrocephalus are an unusually large head or rapid increase of head size, vomiting, seizures, and sunsetting of the eyes, eyes that are fixed downward (Signs and symptoms, 2006). In Michael’s case, he was born with a head circumference of fifty-three and a half centimeters compared to a normal babies head circumference of thirty-five centimeters (personal communication, 2006). Congenital hydrocephalus has no predominant cause. According to the article by the Hydrocephalus Association titled Hydrocephalus in infants and children, the most common cause of congenital hydrocephalus is aqueductal obstruction, more commonly referred to as Stenosis (2002). This is when there is a blockage in one of the four ventricles of the brain. Environmental factors such as Toxoplasmosis, an infection that can be transmitted by eating undercooked meat, Cytomegalovirus, a virus in the herpes
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This note was uploaded on 03/28/2008 for the course COM ARTS 100 taught by Professor Humphreys during the Fall '07 term at Wisconsin.

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hydro paper - Every morning, Michael Sample's parents wake...

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