WHEREAS, Hydrocephalus is a condition that has no cure with the primary characteristic being an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain resulting in abnormal widening of ventricles in the brain, causing harmful pressure which can be fatal if untreated; and
WHEREAS, there are two primary types of hydrocephalus, congenital, appearing at birth, and acquired, which develops at birth or some point afterward; and
WHEREAS, in the United States, Hydrocephalus occurs in about 1.5 per 1000 births, and children with this condition often experience seizures, motor disabilities, vision problems, and intellectual disabilities; and
WHEREAS, Hydrocephalus is not solely a pediatric condition. Over one million Americans are living with this condition, and anyone can get hydrocephalus at any time from a brain injury, infection, tumor, or, for unknown reasons, as part of the aging process; and
WHEREAS, it is estimated that 700,000 seniors are living with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, but less than 20% are properly diagnosed. Many remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, as the primary symptoms mimic those of aging or dementia; and
WHEREAS, currently the only treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a shunt system that diverts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to another area of the body where it can join the normal circulatory process; and
WHEREAS, over 36,000 shunt surgeries are performed each year, and 50% of shunts will fail within 2 years, and 70% will fail within 10 years, making shunt procedures the number one reason for brain surgery in children; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth joins the Pennsylvania community of the Hydrocephalus Association and the National Hydrocephalus Association, in conjunction with leaders from professional, community, and medical-based organizations, in increasing public awareness of hydrocephalus and research funding to better address the needs of families, resulting in better health for all individuals.
THEREFORE, I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim September 2017 as HYDROCEPHALUS AWARENESS MONTH. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to support those living with and affected by this condition.
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, this fifteenth day of September two thousand seventeen, the year of the commonwealth the two hundred forty-second.
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