Memorializing Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim September 2021, as Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in the State of New York

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Senate Resolution No. 1297


MEMORIALIZING Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim
September 2021, as Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in
the State of New York

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to memorialize
Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim September 2021, as Hydrocephalus
Awareness Month in the State of New York, in conjunction with the
observance of September 1, 2021, as Hydrocephalus Awareness Day in the
State of New York; and

WHEREAS, Derived from the Greek words "hydro" meaning water and
"cepha- lus" meaning head, hydrocephalus is a condition that has no cure
and in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of
fluid in the brain; and

WHEREAS, Hydrocephalus was once known as "water on the brain,"
however the "water" is actually cerebrospinal fluid, a clear fluid that
surrounds the brain and spinal cord; excessive accumulation results in
an abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles, which
creates potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain; and

WHEREAS, Cerebrospinal fluid has three important life-sustaining
functions: to keep the brain tissue buoyant, acting as a cushion or
"shock absorber"; to act as the vehicle for delivering nutrients to the
brain and removing waste; and to flow between the cranium and spine and
compensate for changes in intracranial blood volume; and

WHEREAS, The balance between production and absorption of
cerebrospinal fluid is critically important; because it is made
continuously, medical conditions that block its normal flow or
absorption will result in an over-accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid
and the resulting pressure of the fluid against brain tissue is what
causes hydrocephalus; and

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

WHEREAS, There are two classifications of hydrocephalus, including
communicating hydrocephalus, which occurs when the flow of cerebrospinal
fluid is blocked, not allowing it to exit the ventricles; and
non-communicating hydrocephalus, which is also called obstructive
hydrocephalus and occurs when the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is blocked
along one or more of the narrow passages connecting the ventricles; and

WHEREAS, Two other forms of hydrocephalus which primarily affect
adults are: hydrocephalus ex-vacuo, which occurs when stroke or
traumatic injury cause damage to the brain; and normal pressure
hydrocephalus, which can happen to people at any age, but it is most
common among the elderly and may result from a subarachnoid hemorrhage,

head trauma, infection, tumor, or complications of surgery but often
whose cause is unknown, referred to as idiopathic normal pressure
hydrocephalus (iNPH); and

WHEREAS, The number of people who develop hydrocephalus or who are
currently living with it is difficult to establish since there is no
national registry or database of people with the condition;
nevertheless, experts estimate that it affects approximately 1.5 in
every 1,000 live births; and

WHEREAS, The causes of hydrocephalus are still not well understood;
it may result from inherited genetic abnormalities, developmental
disorders, complications of premature birth such as intraventricular
hemorrhage, diseases such as meningitis, tumors, traumatic head injury,
or subarachnoid hemorrhage; and

WHEREAS, The symptoms of hydrocephalus vary with age, disease
progression, and individual differences in tolerance to the condition;
for example, an infant's ability to compensate for increased
cerebrospinal fluid pressure and enlargement of the ventricles differs
from an adults; and

WHEREAS, In infancy, the most obvious indication of hydrocephalus is
often a rapid increase in head circumference or an unusually large head
size; other symptoms may include vomiting, sleepiness, irritability,
downward deviation of the eyes and seizures; and

WHEREAS, Older children and adults may experience headache followed
by vomiting, nausea, papilledema, blurred or double vision, sunsetting
of the eyes, problems with balance, poor coordination, gait disturbance,
urinary incontinence, slowing or loss of developmental progress,
lethargy, drowsiness, irritability, or other changes in personality or
cognition including memory loss; and

WHEREAS, Symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus include, problems
with walking, impaired bladder control leading to urinary frequency
and/or incontinence, and progressive mental impairment and dementia; and

WHEREAS, Hydrocephalus is diagnosed through clinical neurological
evaluation and by using cranial imaging techniques such as
ultrasonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or
pressure-monitoring techniques; 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, The prognosis for individuals diagnosed with hydrocephalus
is difficult to predict, although there is some correlation between the
specific cause of the hydrocephalus and the outcome; and

WHEREAS, Affected individuals and their families should be aware
that hydrocephalus poses risks to both cognitive and physical
development; 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; and

WHEREAS, The symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus usually get
worse over time if the condition is not treated, and can ultimately
result in death; while the success of treatment with shunts varies from
person to person, some people recover almost completely after treatment
and have a good quality of life; early diagnosis and treatment improve
the chance of a good recovery and minimize the risk of long term damage
to the brain; and

WHEREAS, Raising awareness about hydrocephalus will play a key role
in prevention, treatment, and educating others and will result in better
health for all individuals in the State of New York and throughout the
nation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Kathy Hochul to proclaim September 2021, as
Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in the State of New York; and be it

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to The Honorable Kathy Hochul, Governor of the State of New


  • 03 / Sep / 2021

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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