Have you heard of intracranial pressure, or ICP for short? What are the symptoms of increased intracranial pressure?
How can you tell if the pressure inside the skull has increased?
In the continuation of this article, we intend to talk about the increase in intracranial pressure, or in other words, the secret of ICP, and to introduce you to the clinical manifestations and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure.
If intracranial pressure increases, the condition can become very dangerous
What causes intracranial pressure?
A fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is located around the soft tissues of the brain and spinal cord, and in fact between the soft tissues of the spinal cord and the brain and the bones of the spine and skull, which has a nutritional role for both the brain and the spinal cord.
This fluid is produced in parts of the brain tissue called the ventricles of the brain, and the arteries above the brain are responsible for absorbing excess fluid so that intracranial pressure does not increase.
The skull bones in an adult are cohesive and stiff, so if for any reason the balance of production, secretion and absorption of CSF is disturbed and the CSF fluid increases.
Only increased fluid can put pressure on the soft tissues of the brain and spinal cord to compress them, leaving room for bone in the cranium and spine.
Pressure on brain tissue causes damage that depends on the location of the injury and the extent and severity of the injury, specific clinical signs and manifestations will appear.
What factors are associated with increased cerebrospinal fluid?
- Existence of space-absorbing lesions in the skull
- Bleeding inside the brain tissue (hemorrhagic strokes)
- Rupture of cerebral artery aneurysm
- Types of intracranial hemorrhages such as
- Sub Arachnoid
- Brain abscesses
- Other causes:
- Traumas to the brain and skull
- Intracranial surgeries
- Nervous system-related diseases as well as disorders independent of the central nervous system can be associated with increased intracranial pressure.
- Falling and trauma to the skull is the most common cause of increased intracranial pressure
- There is a term called hydrocephaly. Hydro means water and cephaly is a Greek word meaning head.
Increased production of cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricles of the brain will lead to enlargement of these areas of brain tissue. This condition is called hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus will also lead to increased intracranial pressure
We emphasize that for whatever reason the increase in intracranial pressure has occurred, the condition of the affected person will be very serious and will need to be evaluated immediately.
What are the symptoms of increased intracranial pressure or ICP secretion?
How do you know if a person has increased intracranial pressure?
The increased pressure exerted on the brain by the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is expressed in terms of the area under pressure, and the damaged brain will cause manifestations.
Which is as follows:
- Decreased mental capacity, impaired judgment
- Weak reasoning and logical thinking
- Confusion and lack of knowledge of place and people
- Lack of awareness of time
- Change in breathing pattern and the onset of short breathing
- Lack of response of the pupil to changes in light
- Speech disorder
- Discrete speech without relation to conditions
- Decreased level of consciousness
These can occur following any space-occupying lesion inside the cranial space, such as tumors and bleeding. Immediate diagnosis and timely increase of ICP and immediate treatment are necessary for the survival of the patient.
Late referral and late diagnosis and delayed initiation of appropriate treatment measures cause very serious and sometimes permanent damage to the brain, followed by coma and death.
So if you see one or more of the above symptoms in a person, take him to a well-equipped medical center without wasting time.
Are the symptoms of increased intracranial pressure in children different from the manifestations of ICP in adults?
One of the reasons for the increase in intracranial pressure in children is the trauma to the skull during child abuse. There is a syndrome called concussion !!! or so-called doctors, SBS.
Doctors say the same symptoms that follow an increase in intracranial pressure in adults can also occur in children, but children may show more symptoms.
In infants under one year of age, because the plates of the skull bones are not yet connected and are softer, the joints between the parts of the bones that make up the skull may open as the intracranial pressure increases.
In infants whose fontanelle are not yet closed, bulging and protruding protrusions may be seen, which is called a fontanelle protrusion (the soft spot between the junction of the bony pieces that make up the skull).
History of cranial trauma, history of recent central nervous system surgeries, (brain and spinal cord), are asked and a list of medications is obtained.
Patient’s blood pressure and neurological examinations, such as the pupil’s response to light, are assessed by a flashlight.
Speech and awareness of time and place will be assessed
Contrast-free brain CT scans are requested in emergencies and in more complete brain MRI studies.
The main and first goal is to remove high pressure from the brain tissue.
Making small holes in the skull may help reduce intracranial pressure
Medications such as injectable corticosteroids will be used to control the swelling of brain tissue. Dexamethasone is one of the most common drugs in this group in the prevention and control of edema and encephalitis.
Mannitol and medications used to prevent seizures will be prescribed.
Analgesics, anxiolytics, and sedatives are also prescribed as appropriate, as anxiety can worsen and increase intracranial pressure by increasing the patient’s systemic blood pressure.
Hypertonic saline and mannitol are used to reduce intracranial pressure
Another way to reduce intracranial pressure is to insert surgical shunts
A shunt is a thin tube that connects the inside of the skull to a part of the body, such as the abdominal cavity, and drains the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) into the abdominal cavity. This fluid is absorbed into the abdomen by the bloodstream and excreted by the kidneys.
Even a lumbar puncture!!! or sampling and removal of cerebrospinal fluid from the waist can reduce the symptoms, but it should not be repeated.
By controlling and reducing intracranial pressure, the next step is to discover the cause of increased ICP and eliminate the underlying cause.
For example, if a tumor has increased intracranial pressure or bleeding in brain or intracranial tissue, increased intracranial pressure, or hydrocephalus and increased production and impaired CSF uptake, the underlying cause must be treated first.
To prevent increased ICP, pay attention to the following points:
Be sure to wear a standard helmet when riding a motorcycle, riding a horse, or riding a bicycle.
Children must be seated in their own car seat.
One of the most common causes of increased ICP in the elderly is falling and falling indoors. So for elderly loved ones who have a balance disorder, be sure to provide a suitable cane, walker or wheelchair and place those accessories near them.
Keep their ground clean and dry
And be sure to install extra handles next to the wall if needed.
When going to the bathroom or toilet, be very careful about the environment. Use special flooring that cannot slip on them and keep the bathroom and toilet floor dry.
The final word
We emphasize in case of occurrence:
- Sudden imbalances
- Sudden movement disorder
- Lack of knowledge and awareness of the time and place
- nausea and vomiting
Transfer the patient immediately to the emergency room or the nearest equipped medical center. Delayed visit and late start of treatment, unfortunately, will be accompanied by serious complications.