Pressure-Stress Conditions in the Brain under NPH

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is a condition where the intracranial pressure amplitudes in the CSF are larger than normal, causing symptoms such as dementia, urinary incontinence, unsteadiness, and impaired balance. Implanting a shunt to drain excess CSF (to the abdomen where it is absorbed) is often an effective treatment, representing in fact the only known successful treatment of dementia. Dr. Per Kristian Eide and his researchers at Oslo University Hospital search for physical and biological explanations, which is the motivation for mathematical modeling of the phenomenon. The poroelastic model for flow and deformation in the spinal chord can be applied to the brain as well. The hypothesis is that a small phase shift between the CSF pressure amplitudes inside the ventricles and outside the brain cause stresses at particular locations in the brain, which influence the neuron activity and cause the mentioned symptoms. This project is in its infant state and whether mathematical models can contribute to an increased understanding of the phenomenon is yet to be discovered. The project strengthens the ties to Oslo University Hospital and helps to accumulate more experience in modeling tissue-flow interaction in CBC.