My husband had a sub arachnoid brain aneurysm 2/1/09 had a clipped, he was discharged without shunt. In April the neurosurgeon suggested a vp shunt due to hydrocephalus and it was inserted. I always felt apprehensive about the second surgery but my husband wanted to get better quickly and the neursurgeon told him if he wanted to get better he needed the shunt. Since placement he has been suffering from severe headaches and episodes that he explains as "I get stupid". He has a hard time comprehending, he gets extremely sleepy, and his speech gets slow and slurred. We have voiced our concerns to his neurosurgeon and his neurologist but they don't seem to know why this happens to him and quite frankly don't seem concerned. My husband has had CT scans, MRIs, EEG, sleep deprived EEG, 24 hour EEG, Holter moniter, Echocardiogram, and EKG and all the results come back "normal" but he still has these episodes. He tells me I feel there is something wrong and no one seems to find it and it may be too late when they do. We are desprerate, please any suggestions?
Hi, Thank you for your question. If you have continuous symptoms, possible causes may be shunt is either under-draining or over-draining. Her doctor can assess this with a lumbar puncture and measures the fluid pressure. He/She may make some adjustment of the shunt to allow it to drain more and can monitor if the headache improve. Another possibility could be shunt is over-draining, that may lead to low CSF pressure that can also lead to headache. This may improve when the person lies down and gets worse when the person sits or stands. Other possibility could be migraine or cluster headache since these types of headaches are quite common in females. Even then if she suffers continuous headache, please arrange an appointment with a neurologist right away who will evaluate the further underlying disorders here that may be the main reasons of her headaches and can suggest her appropriate treatment. Hope this information proves helpful to you.
Thank you for your comments. I have suggested the same things to my husband's neurologist and neurosurgen but the tool they use to check his vp shunt drainage is ct scan, I will ask for a lumbar puncture. What do you think causes his "feeling stupid" syndrome, he gets slow and slurred speech on a regular basis? He is fine one minute and the next it happens.
Hi.I to have a VP shunt but mine is for IIh but I would think the basic principle applies.
It sounds like your husbands shunt is over draining, which would cause a lot of the problems he is experiecing. It also can cause long term difficulties, so you do need to have this problem rectifed quickley.
As has been suggested, a lumber pucture will tell the story.The opening pressure should be between 11-18.Anthything below this is a case of over draining. Anything higher, means that his pressure is too high and the shunt will need to be adjusted.
As your husbands carer, I would demand an lp and make them take better care of him. All the tests in the world cant beat asking and listening to the patient.
I really hope you find the answer soon. Best wishes, Cath278.
If your husband has had a medtronic strata valve fitted be very wary of what the N.S tells you i have had to put up with numerous similar problems have as these units are very unreliable as the setting may not suit or the valve may be faulty as other people have also had problems,The best ever shunt is now on the market an OSV11 as it is self regulating adjusting itself to open & close to keep a constant csf pressure,unlike other valves where the valve is set at a constant setting not allowing for standing or laying down,I used to have sessions of feeling stupid because you cant think straight feels like your brain is turning to mush,balance probs etc etc since having the osv11 it has changed my life.Good luck
My father has the same symptoms. He had a shunt put in about a year ago for hydrocephalus. Since then he has bouts of extreme tiredness and slurring every morning around 10 a.m. Have you discovered what caused your husband's symptoms? Thank you.
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