Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

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A new report published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that a significant amount of patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

iNPH, a neurodegenerative disease affecting cognitive function, involves the disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulation. Such disturbance elevates brain pressure and dilation of the brain ventricles, according to researchers.

In the study, researchers evaluated 335 patients in late-adulthood who received treatment for the neurodegenerative disease. The patients undewent shunt surgery to transition excessive CSF from the brain ventricles to the abdominal cavity. Further tests were initiated to identify changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Upon reviewing the findings, it was determined that one in five patients with iNPH went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

“A total of 70 (21%) patients developed clinical AD during median follow-up of 5.3 years,” the findings stated. “We found increased occurrence of clinical AD in previously shunted iNPH patients as compared with general population.”

Moreover, by utilizing the Disease State Index (DSI), researchers were capable of predicting the development of Alzheimer’s disease. “DSI supported the prediction of AD,” the findings concluded.