Two toddlers detected with rare ‘swelling of head’ disease in Jharkhand

Ranchi: Two children in Jharkhand have been detected with hydrocephalus, a rare disorder which leads to abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain.

Also referred to as ‘swelling of head’, hydrocephalus is genetic. During hydrocephalus, the circulation of fluid inside the brain is blocked. The amount of fluid keeps on increasing, which exerts pressure on the brain and the head’s size starts increasing.

The children, both below one year of age, have been admitted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.

One of the patients is a seven-month-old boy from West Bengal, who the doctors said would be difficult to operate upon.

“This patient has arrived late. Most of the patients come when the heads are relatively smaller. Since it is caused by fluid block, we the do a diversion operation. There are other methods also. We will try our best in this case also but the problem is when the amount of fluid is more, the size of brain gets smaller. So, even if the operation is successful since there is little to no brain there is less chance of the brain functioning normally,” said head of neuro surgeon department at the hospital, Doctor Anil Kumar.

Asu’s mother, Najmi Hassan, said they came to Ranchi after treatments at several other places failed to bring any positive outcome.

“Earlier we were getting him treated in a private hospital. Then we had not expected that he will need to get operated because we had not expected his head to grow this large. But, since last one-two month the head has become larger and the wound is also not drying up and so we have come here,” said Hassan.

The other patient is a girl child from Palamu district of the state.

The doctors are apprehensive about the toddlers’ possibility to recover fully from the disease.

Hydrocephalus first came to light in India few years back when Roona Begum of Tripura state made headlines around the world after her head swelled up to 94 centimetres due to hydrocephalus.

Begum was later offered medical and financial help from several sources. She underwent multiple surgeries, but is yet to fully recover.