Using magnets to treat babies and kids with hydrocephalus sounds like something from a science-fiction movie, but it’s happening here at CHOC.
Hydrocephalus (or water on the brain) is a condition where there is a lack of absorption, blockage of flow, or overproduction of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain. This can lead to dangerous buildup of fluid, increasing pressure inside of the head.
Some hydrocephalus patients need surgery, which usually involves placing a shunt into the child’s head to help drain the extra fluid from around the brain.
CHOC neurosurgeon Michael Muhonen, MD, was a primary investigator for clinical trials of Medtronic’s Strata Valve—part of a shunt system now being used worldwide to treat hydrocephalus.
Once surgically implanted in the brain, the settings on adjustable valves like Strata can be easily customized as the patient grows and changes. Dr. Muhonen uses a special magnet to change pressure settings in the shunt from outside the head. It’s noninvasive and totally pain-free.
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How to prevent and treat respiratory illnesses this season
Unfortunately, many kids get infected with respiratory illnesses in the fall and winter seasons. CHOC experts highly encourage all eligible members of households to receive their annual flu shots. Other preventative measures like good hygiene and staying home when sick can help protect families from illness. The following articles and guides provide more information.
At CHOC, our team of board-certified specialists and neuroscience-trained staff provide a full spectrum of care for disorders of the brain, spine, muscles and nervous system.