Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, 2017

September 15, 2017

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.


Read full text of the letter below. You can also view the letter on Scribd and as a PDF.

Governor Wolf Proclamation — Hydrocephalus Awareness Month 2017 by Governor Tom Wolf on Scribd

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