Skip to main content
Confident Caucasian senior male neurosurgeon consults with a colleague about a patient's diagnosis. The male doctor is holding a human brain model.
A skilled team, dedicated to you
Normal pressure hydrocephalus can be difficult to diagnose. At our center, we have a unique collaboration of neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists to expertly diagnose and treat patients with this condition.
What can we help you find?

Understanding normal pressure hydrocephalus

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a mild, difficult-to-diagnose type of hydrocephalus, commonly referred to as "water on the brain." Symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus are caused by an increase of fluid in the brain known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The increase in the cerebrospinal fluid above normal levels is so mild that NPH can be hard to detect and accurately diagnose. Individuals with normal pressure hydrocephalus often have a combination of three symptoms that can help establish the diagnosis: mental confusion, gait disturbance and urinary incontinence.

Because NPH symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other movement disorders, NPH is often misdiagnosed or unrecognized which results in patients not receiving the appropriate treatment. Without treatment, symptoms may get worse over time, and early diagnosis and treatment may improve the chance of a good recovery.

Providing expert diagnosis

At the Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Center at the Northwell Health Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery, we use comprehensive techniques to make sure we make the right diagnosis (and therefore choose the right treatment) including:

  • Detailed patient history and examination 
  • CT scan (Computerized Tomography) of the head
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) 
  • Neuropsychological testing 
  • Gait testing 
  • Spinal tap or lumbar puncture (LP) 
  • Lumbar CSF drainage 
  • Intracranial pressure monitoring 

Research interests

We are members of the International Hydrocephalus Imaging Working Group (IHIWG), an organization that advances the study of hydrocephalus, using a wide range of imaging modalities. Our physicians have presented at IHIWG on cerebrospinal fluid physiology and modeling.

Our staff is dedicated to educating the next generation of medical professionals at our renowned medical school.

We’re empowering imagination and supporting pioneering discovery to transform our field and create a better tomorrow.

With our FollowMyHealth™ Patient Portal, you can enjoy the convenience of accessing your medical records and health information—anywhere, anytime.

Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery in the news
View all articlesView all articles
People commonly mistake migraines for aneurysms. Learn the differences and what you should do when warning signs emerge.
Sixteen Northwell Health hospitals have been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for having received a Get With The Guidelines Performance Achievement Award and cited in the 2018 "Best Hospitals" edition of U...
Serious caffeine addiction withdrawal symptoms can land you in the ER
Marc Gordon, MD, comments on a study that compares the scores of aptitude tests from the same individuals, 60 years apart.
Go to top