What are symptoms of hydrocephalus in children?

Updated: Jun 04, 2018
  • Author: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Symptoms in children include the following:

  • Slowing of mental capacity

  • Headaches (initially in the morning) that are more significant than in infants because of skull rigidity

  • Neck pain suggesting tonsillar herniation

  • Vomiting, more significant in the morning

  • Blurred vision: This is a consequence of papilledema and later of optic atrophy

  • Double vision: This is related to unilateral or bilateral sixth nerve palsy

  • Stunted growth and sexual maturation from third ventricle dilatation: This can lead to obesity and to precocious puberty or delayed onset of puberty.

  • Difficulty in walking secondary to spasticity: This affects the lower limbs preferentially because the periventricular pyramidal tract is stretched by the hydrocephalus.

  • Drowsiness

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