Frenchay Hospital leads awareness of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
An animation has been made to tell people about the symptoms of a condition that is often mistaken for dementia.
Frenchay Hospital has been involved in a campaign to educate the public and healthcare professionals about a medical condition called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH).
In partnership with the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH), the animation is aimed at people over sixty years old - the age group most likely to develop the condition.
The condition is caused by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles (cavities) of the brain.
The symptoms of NPH include difficulty in walking, short-term memory loss and urinary incontinence.
There can also be problems with balance, causing people to fall backwards.
These symptoms are sometimes assumed to be the untreatable effects of old age but when people are diagnosed with NPH early enough there is a good chance that they can get effective treatment.
Richard Edwards, consultant neurosurgeon at Frenchay Hospital, is at the forefront of work to treat NPH said when people receive treatment it can be life-changing.
He said: “In some cases, where nursing home admission previously seemed inevitable, patients are delighted to find that, thanks to the treatment, they are able to remain living in their own home.”
The Bristol School of Animation at the University of the West of England created a 30 second animation, showing the key symptoms of NPH.
It is planned that this animation will be broadcast in the waiting rooms of 37 GP surgeries in the Bristol area.