Hydrocephalus is a condition in which the primary characteristic is excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Although hydrocephalus was once known as "water on the brain, the "water" is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) - a clear fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
The excessive accumulation of CSF results in an abnormal dilation of the spaces in the brain called ventricles. This dilation causes potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain.
Hydrocephalus may be congenital or acquired. Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth and may be caused by either environmental influences or genetic predisposition.