September 1, 2016: Hydrocephalus Awareness Day

WHEREAS, Hydrocephalus is a condition that has no cure and in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain resulting in abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles, which creates harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain and can be fatal if untreated; and,

WHEREAS, there are two primary types of hydrocephalus. Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth and may be caused by either events or influences that occur during fetal development, or genetic abnormalities. Acquired hydrocephalus develops at the time of birth or at some point afterward, affects individuals of all ages and may be caused by injury or disease; and,

WHEREAS, two other forms of hydrocephalus primarily affect adults. Ex-vacuo hydrocephalus occurs when stroke or traumatic injury cause damage to the brain. Normal pressure hydrocephalus can happen to people at any age, but it is most common among the elderly and the cause is often unknown; and,

WHEREAS, experts estimate that hydrocephalus affects over 1 million Americans and occurs in 1.5 out of every 1,000 live births, as well as in an estimated 700,000 older Americans; and,

WHEREAS, the only treatment for hydrocephalus requires brain surgery. Most often, hydrocephalus is treated by surgically inserting a shunt system which diverts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to another area of the body where it can be absorbed as part of the normal circulatory process; and,

WHEREAS, affected individuals and their families should be aware that hydrocephalus poses risks to both cognitive and physical development and often requires repeated brain surgeries over a lifetime. However, children diagnosed with the disorder benefit from early intervention programs, rehabilitation therapies and educational interventions and many go on to lead lives with few limitations;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 1, 2016 as Hydrocephalus Awareness Day in Michigan.