What Is Intracranial Hypertension?
Intracranial Hypertension (aka Pseudotumor Cerebri) is a rare, incurable, debilitating medical condition in which the patient has the symptoms of a brain tumor without the physical presence of a tumor. In a healthy person, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), meant to cushion and protect the brain within the skull, is generated by the body and reabsorbed every three minutes. In an IH patient, however, this fluid does not drain properly and instead of maintaining a healthy equilibrium accumulates within the cranial cavity causing severe head pain and other symptoms. The head pain has been described by IH patients as being similar to having a vise on one's head being constantly tightened.
The result is that the brain gets crushed, causing constant severe debilitating head pain, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, pulsatile tinnitus, numbness in the hands, feet, and face, rhinorrhea (spinal fluid leaking from the nose during episodes of high pressure), depression, fatigue, and more.
There are no medicinal remedies specifically for IH yet, and even the strongest pain relievers (codeine, morphine, etc.) do not help. The only treatment for IH is frequent lumbar punctures (spinal taps) to drain excess fluid; this is a painful procedure that results in only 5-6 hours of relief. Surgeries to have shunts placed are possible, but they carry grave risks and the shunts often fail.
For more detailed information and the latest news about research, please visit the IH Research Foundation at www.IHRFoundation.org