Such a thing as increased intracranial pressure in children, familiar to many parents. And usually heard such a diagnosis, mom and dad very much afraid. And if so unreasonably? It is in this, and we try to understand this article. First, let's find out what it is the intracranial pressure. Doctors characterize this notion of the level of pressure of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.
Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in small blood vessels of the brain. It is this fluid in the ventricles of the brain and plays a vital role in the human body:
- Remedy products of metabolism that occurs in the cells of the brain.
- Antibacterial protection of brain cells from the pathogenic organisms.
- Protecting the brain from slack external physical influences (shocks).
A healthy child's body a day produces about 400 - 500 milligrams of cerebrospinal fluid. However, despite this, the intracranial pressure always remains within the normal range. This is happening because of the fact that the liquid is absorbed systematically in brain vessels.
From the above it can be concluded that intracranial pressure is directly dependent on the generation amount of cerebrospinal fluid and its rate of absorption in the cerebral vessels.
Why increases the pressure?
Intracranial pressure, like the blood is very volatile indicator. Its level can rise and fall during the day. Toddlers There are several factors that can lead to increased intracranial pressure - strong emotions, crying, screaming, exercise. Especially clearly it is observed in young children, whose cry from the often protrudes grudnichok - it happens because of increased intracranial pressure.
Most often minor variations in intracranial pressure are perfectly natural and normal phenomenon inherent to all without exception - both children and adults. But in some cases, the intracranial pressure rises sufficiently strongly, and sometimes even for a long time, resulting in even may disrupt the brain. In such cases, doctors suggest the presence of intracranial hypertension.
In the case of increasing intrauterine pressure in children most often the culprit disease is hydrocephalus. In that case, if the cerebrospinal fluid is produced in very large quantities, or disrupt its absorption into the brain vessels, or the circulation in the ventricles is not properly diagnosed baby hydrocephalus.
Doctors are two types of the disease - congenital and acquired hydrocephalus, depending on the reasons why it has developed in the child. As you can guess from the name, acquired hydrocephalus occurs in a child under the influence of various external adverse factors.
Congenital hydrocephalus develops at the same crumbs during pregnancy, and it gives itself felt in the first hours after birth. The reasons that can trigger the development of fetal hydrocephalus, a few - those or other genetic abnormalities, disruption of the normal outflow of cerebrospinal fluid, brain hemorrhage. But despair is not yet in this situation - the disease is diagnosed quickly enough, and timely treatment allows the baby to grow and develop normally, nothing behind their healthy peers.
The symptoms of intracranial pressure
Tragically, in some cases, doctors may not notice the onset of the disease. It is not in their competence - they see a child are much less likely than parents. So mom and dad must be very careful not to miss the signs of the disease. Examples of these symptoms include:
- The changes form the baby's head
One of the first signs of hydrocephalus is a change in the shape of the head crumbs - it becomes disproportionately large. Particularly strong increases in the size of the child's forehead. Please note - all children the rate of change in the shape of the head is different, so you have to beat anxiety already at the first suspicion. Although often enlarged head can be detected only when it is measured. That is why it is important to promptly attend all preventive checkups at the pediatrician.
- SPRING and cranial sutures
Also, parents may suspect a baby has a problem in that case, if there are crumbs distance between the seams of the skull, or if you constantly bulging fontanelle. A healthy baby is normal or slightly sunken fontanelle, or if a convex, then only slightly. But in the event that the child bulging fontanelle constant time, regardless of whether the child is strained or is in complete rest, is worried.
Doctors similar phenomenon is very beautiful name - a symptom "of the setting sun." Take a good look at the eyes of the child. In the event that a pipsqueak faced with such a problem, as hydrocephalus, his gaze is almost always hangs down. And parents may notice the sclera strip between the pupil and the upper eyelid.
- The veins in the head baby
In that case, if the child is sick hydrocephalus, almost always on the skin of the head can be seen clearly marked venous network. In that case, if the child is tense, the veins are particularly well distinguishable.
A child with hydrocephalus is usually too whiny and irritable - he can shout a very long time, and very monotonous. And such sudden emotional outbursts may be replaced by strong lethargy and sleepiness.
- Features of physical development
Children with hydrocephalus, in the absence of proper treatment can significantly lag behind in physical development. They are much later than their peers, begin to hold head, sit up, crawl and then walk. And the weight crumbs can be significantly lower than the norm, because for these children is characterized by abundant and frequent regurgitation.
Although fairness should be noted that the increased intracranial pressure can be a symptom of various diseases, and not only hydrocephalus. Examples of these diseases include severe head injuries, brain tumors, multiple infections - meningitis, encephalitis, hemorrhages, genetic disorders. Therefore, in any case, a child suffering from increased intracranial pressure, should be examined as soon as possible from relevant specialists.
Treatment of this disease
As mentioned above, increased intracranial pressure in any case can not be ignored. If it is not timely to normalize the development of the baby's brain may slow down, and in severe cases, and stop altogether. This can lead to a variety of effects - from mild to severe mental retardation, the child's disability.
Unfortunately, most drugs do not exert pharmacological effect proper. And so they are usually prescribed as a temporary measure until the child is prepared for surgery. By the way, they are often prescribed to children who are wrongly diagnosed with "increased intracranial pressure." Alas, this happens not so rarely - we'll talk about a little later.
The treatment also true hydrocephalus and other diseases associated with increased intracranial pressure, is surgery. The aim of this intervention is to set the shunt - a special tube to be removed from the brain of excess cerebrospinal fluid volume. Liquid is withdrawn either in the heart cavity or the peritoneal cavity.
Time, which is set on the bypass, the most different - from several weeks to many years of a child's life. As a rule, the effect of this operation stunning - the child is recovering very fast. The sooner will be a bypass, the sooner the child will recover. Very often, doctors hear from their parents about the issue, would not interfere with the shunt baby. Their concern is understandable, but it is absolutely unreasonable - the children who had undergone bypass surgery, can lead a normal full life.
What you can not do in any case?
Sometimes parents whose children are diagnosed with "increased intracranial pressure" to cope with the problem on their own, with the help of various folk methods of treatment. Either use pharmacological agents which can only harm the baby. This is done in any case it is impossible, because the intracranial pressure in children under one year represents a very serious threat, and indicates the presence of a very dangerous disease.
And even more so it is not necessary to assign special hopes for physiotherapy, massage, exercise therapy, vitamin therapy, etc. - they are able to help your child in a similar situation. They are used only as a means of rehabilitation after surgery to help the child recover as quickly as possible. And then - all of these procedures should be chosen strictly individually, taking into account the characteristics of the disease and general health of the child.
Why such a diagnosis is so often?
We have already mentioned the fact that very often the doctors, reinsuring, diagnosed the child increased intracranial pressure. Why is this happening? It is because of the incompetence of doctors? Do not rush to blame the doctors - in many ways they are right. After all, increased intracranial pressure - this is not an independent offense, but merely a sign of some other very serious disease.
That is why the doctor simply has no right to overlook the signs of even remotely suggestive of the possibility of increased intracranial pressure. Otherwise, it may miss the beginning of a disease, whereby the child not receive timely treatment.
And since the symptoms that may indicate that the child has increased intracranial pressure, a lot of, a physician reinsured and exposes the diagnosis. It immediately confirm it does not work, because the need numerous and complex research that can not spend a single day. Often, doctors do not need a month to confirm or deny his suspicions.
And all this time the child will be under the strict supervision of a pediatrician and neurologist. In that case, if the child really has such a problem as increased intracranial pressure, it will certainly other symptoms of this disease, or that disease, which led to an increase in intracranial pressure. As a rule, in all cases, the situation is finally clarified by the end of the first year of life - symptoms of increased intracranial pressure or disappear completely, or fails to identify the root cause, which has involved the development of this pathology.
In any case, parents should first calm down and seek medical advice. Panic - the worst assistant in the given situation. The only correct actions of parents in this situation - is to find a good doctor - neurologist, whom they can trust completely. Indeed, in the coming months, the doctor and the parents will have to work very, very tight - only joint efforts will help your child grow up healthy.