Category Archives: Articles on Brain

Doctor explaining signs of hydrocephalus in adults

5 Signs of Hydrocephalus in Adults 

Doctor explaining signs of hydrocephalus in adults to her patient

Walking abnormalities, headaches, difficulty maintaining balance, frequent urge to micturate, memory loss, vision problems! Does this sound like you? If it does, you might be suffering from Hydrocephalus. It is completely normal to feel anxious. However, this anxiety might lead you to avoid consulting a doctor or having the timely treatment that you need right now! To make things more clear to you, here is a detailed description of all you need to know about signs of Hydrocephalus in adults.

What is Hydrocephalus and at what age does it occur?

Hydrocephalus is basically an accumulation of excess fluid in the ventricles of your brain known as Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It enlarges the ventricles and puts pressure on surrounding brain tissues causing memory loss, cognitive impairment, walking difficulties, and loss of reasoning ability.

Mostly it occurs in adults at the age of 60 or more. In adults, Hydrocephalus usually occurs secondary to some other brain conditions like any brain infection(meningitis), tumor, or trauma. It’s very difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it must get diagnosed timely to make the recovery possible. 

Signs of Hydrocephalus in Adults

Diagnosing hydrocephalus can be a little tricky as it shares common symptoms with other brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. We have put together a list of the 5 most common signs of Hydrocephalus in Adults.

1. Gait Problems

The first noticeable symptom of normal pressure hydrocephalus in adults is to experience difficulty walking. It becomes extremely difficult to take the first few steps when you want to start walking. It seems as if feet are glued to the ground. Some patients often describe it as if their feet are frozen. Specific features of gait disturbance in Hydrocephalus are wide-based gait patterns with outward rotated feet and diminished height of steps. That’s different from the gait of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease as they have a shuffling gait associated with rigidity. Similar symptoms are present in Alzheimer’s disease as well but an experienced doctor can tell the difference. As the Hydrocephalus progresses, you may become increasingly unsteady, lose your balance and be more likely to fall when turning around.

2. Urinary Problems

Changes in your gait and maintaining balance are often accompanied by urinary incontinence. There is mostly neurogenic disturbance of urination, especially as the way to the toilet is more difficult due to the presence of gait disturbance. At first, the patient suffers from increased micturition frequency, as the disease progresses urge incontinence usually follows. Fecal incontinence is rare and is normally seen in advanced stages.

3. Cognition Problems

The normal thinking process starts to slow down such as psychomotor slowing and impairment of attention, working memory, verbal fluency, and executive function. Changes in personality and behavior are also observed. The patient’s response rate becomes very slow. They fail to process the information and react to it appropriately.

A confused oldman staring outside the window with one hand on his head

4. Dementia

The dementia of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus can be similar to Alzheimer’s disease.  Hydrocephalus dementia involves confusion, short-term memory, forgetfulness, trouble paying attention, and lack of interest in daily life activities.

5. Headaches And Vision Problems

One of the major signs of Hydrocephalus in adults is a headache. It is worse in the morning because the fluid in your brain doesn’t drain while you are lying and the fluid may build up overnight. The headache is usually severe and is associated with vomiting and photophobia. It also makes it hard for the patients to get a sound sleep due to throbbing pain. With Hydrocephalus the nerves get weakened which causes the patient to experience double vision. 

Prompt Diagnosis and Early Treatment

A definitive diagnosis of this treatment could only be made through imaging studies like CT scan and MRI, gait analysis, lumbar puncture, and neurophysiology assessment.  Early diagnosis and treatment can have very favorable results.

Medications have no use in the treatment of Hydrocephalus. The definitive treatment widely accepted worldwide is the shunt system. It’s the placement of a shunt to drain the excess fluid from the brain via a silicon tube into other body cavities like the peritoneal cavity (the area surrounding abdominal organs) or in heart chambers where the fluid can be easily absorbed by the body. This shunt remains there throughout the life of the patient. Follow-up visits, diagnostic tests, and neurophysiological assessments are done from time to time to see if the shunt is working properly or not. Ensuring you have the proper shunt will also help alleviate headaches which can improve your sleep quality.

Recovery from shunt placement takes three to four days. Studies show that 50% to 80% of patients can expect an improvement in their symptoms in the first 2 years.

The prognosis of any surgery depends upon the patient’s general health and stage of the disease. If Hydrocephalus is diagnosed and treated in the early stages, there is a good possibility of recovery.

Talk to A Neurosurgeon!

If you are not feeling like yourself due to symptoms like gait, abnormalities, reduced mental function, balance problems, headaches, vision problems, and urinary incontinence. You might be dealing with Hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus can come quickly or develop over time but in both cases, the condition doesn’t get better on its own.  

Considering making an appointment with a neurosurgeon? Contact the neurosurgeon at Southern California Brain and Spine Surgery today. Our board certified neurosurgeon will provide you with care, diagnostics and an appropriate management plan that will suit you.

For more information contact us through our website or reach us at (213)-369 4583 to one of our doctors now!

Who Is a Neurosurgeon and When Do You Need One?

Who Is a Neurosurgeon and When Do You Need One?

The human nervous system is our biological gateway to interacting with the world around us. Neurosurgeons are responsible for diagnosing, preventing, treating, and rehabilitating ailments of the brain, nerves, spine, the cerebrovascular system, and the other delicate parts that form the system. Although visiting a neurosurgeon may bring about its anxieties, given the daunting word […]

The human nervous system is our biological gateway to interacting with the world around us. Neurosurgeons are responsible for diagnosing, preventing, treating, and rehabilitating ailments of the brain, nerves, spine, the cerebrovascular system, and the other delicate parts that form the system. Although visiting a neurosurgeon may bring about its anxieties, given the daunting word in the second half of their job title, not all consultations will necessarily result in surgery. Modern neurological tools for diagnosis and treatment allow neurosurgeons to prioritize minimally invasive techniques to keep their patients as comfortable as possible throughout the treatment process. Read on to learn how visiting a neurosurgeon in Los Angeles can help you. 

Qualification and Training

Neurosurgeons undergo rigorous training to perform delicate surgeries on the intricate organs that construct the nervous system. To become qualified to perform neurosurgery, they have to complete four years of medical school, a one-year general surgery internship, a residency that spans 5-7 years, and additional time to perfect their specialization of choice (For example: peripheral nerve surgery). 

Neurosurgical Procedures

Once you find a neurosurgeon that you are comfortable with, your diagnostic process will commence. While classifying the nature of neurological care you require, you will be referred to a specialized doctor in that specific field. Keep in mind that neurosurgeons differ from neurologists who treat nervous system diseases, but they do not perform surgery. A neurosurgeon’s specialization is a testament to their prowess in a specific procedure. The following is a list of some common spinal conditions that neurosurgeons treat regularly:

  • Spinal disk herniation
  • Brain and spine tumors
  • Seizures and movement disorders
  • Brain and spine injuries
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • Strokes

If minimally invasive treatment methods are not improving a case, a neurosurgeon may recommend surgery. Among some common procedures used to treat and diagnose neurological ailments are:

  • Laminectomy: Laminectomies are procedures used to relieve pressure from an area of the spine. They are a common option of treatment for spinal stenosis, which in simple terms, is the compression of certain areas of the spine, which can lead to pain and loss of sensation and movement. A laminectomy may also be performed to treat the shrinkages of spinal discs, spine tumours, and slipped discs. These surgeries use minimally invasive techniques and may take up to two hours, with some patients going home the same day as the procedure. 
  • Lumbar Puncture: Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear liquid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is used to collect a sample of the fluid in order to diagnose diseases such as meningitis, myelitis, neurosyphilis, some cancers and other life-threatening diseases. 
  • Spinal Fusion Surgery: This procedure is used to fuse two vertebrae together which, in turn, adds stability to the spine and reduces pain. Spinal fusion surgeries are used to commonly treat scoliosis, degenerative disk diseases, spinal stenosis, fractured vertebrae, tumors and other ailments. 

Before performing any kind of procedures, neurosurgeons carry out thorough diagnostic processes. They educate their patients clearly regarding their condition and use a team of trained professionals to perform the procedures listed above, and many more. A team of medical experts will then be dedicated to providing postoperative care and a comfortable environment to facilitate the healing process.

Signs You Need to Visit One

The question that arises in most patients’ minds before they think of calling a doctor is if they really need to see one. Neurological damages and diseases can be potentially debilitating and greatly affect your quality of life. Identifying some symptoms earlier on and contacting a neurosurgeon is a step forward to managing your pain. 

  • Sensation (Numbness and Pain): A sharp, constant pain in your spinal column or in your head region can be caused by a sizable list of diseases. Numbness in these areas is also an important sign that you should visit a neurosurgeon, so that the source of pain can be identified and eventually, treated. Unusual sensations of pain and numbness can potentially be caused by slipped or herniated discs, spinal stenosis, peripheral nerve damages and a large array of other conditions that must be diagnosed carefully.
  • Seizures: Seizures are characterised by violent convulsions and uncontrolled electrical changes in the brain. During a seizure, it is possible for some patients to lose consciousness during which they may injure themselves. Epilepsy is a disease Some seizures are milder than others and simply require medication, however, some forms of epilepsy may require surgery.
  • Coordination and Movement: A lack of control over movement is caused by the malfunction of the cerebellum and may originate from conditions such as brain tumours, vitamin deficiencies and an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). 
  • Loss of Senses: Sensory loss is defined as the loss or reduction of the ability to smell, feel, touch, hear or see. Symptoms such as these should, in no circumstance, be ignored as they may be caused by damage to the peripheral nerves or even a sign of degenerative central nervous system diseases. 

Getting in touch with your doctor before your appointment may help you be mentally prepared. Reading a neurosurgeon’s reviews can also give you an idea of previous patients’ experience. Websites like and can help you gauge a doctor’s competency.

Evaluation factors of a doctor

Consult the Best Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles

If you or your loved ones are experiencing pain that you suspect is neurological, you should contact a medical professional today. Southern California Brain and Spine Surgery offers it’s patients the most advanced neurosurgical treatments and is headed by Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe M.D. She is among the best neurosurgeons in Los Angeles and has amassed a high amount of experience treating brain, spine, back and neck conditions. Here at Southern California Brain and Spine Surgery, we prioritise our patients’ comfort and well-being above all. Visit our website for more information or call us at (213) 369-4583 to schedule a consultation today!

Neurosurgeon with a spine

Top Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles: Dr Moksha Ranasinghe

Data suggests that due to the current demographic changes (population aging) and lifestyle-related factors such as long working hours with laptops, and less physical exercise, the number of cases with back problems has increased drastically. Nearly 39% of the adult population in the US reported back pain over a period of just three months, according […]

Data suggests that due to the current demographic changes (population aging) and lifestyle-related factors such as long working hours with laptops, and less physical exercise, the number of cases with back problems has increased drastically. Nearly 39% of the adult population in the US reported back pain over a period of just three months, according to a 2019 survey. This has increased the demand for a range of medical services to treat spine disorders and their symptoms. However, spinal surgeries are complex, and trusting someone with your spinal issues can be a difficult decision. If you are looking for the top neurosurgeon in Los Angeles to treat disorders of the brain, spine, or peripheral nerves, meet Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe.

Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe is a leading Neurosurgeon in Los Angeles who believes there is no healthy life without a healthy spine. In this article we will talk about the different factors that make Dr. Ranasinghe the best neurosurgeon in town. 

Background, Qualifications & Achievements

Dr. Ranasinghe was born and raised in Sri Lanka and developed a love for medicine & patient care from a very young age through volunteer work at the local hospital. During her early age, the tragic Sri Lankan civil war broke out, and she got the opportunity to serve her community by working with the Red Cross, treating victims. The entire event gave her incredible hands-on experience. Following that, Dr. Ranasinghe leveraged this first-hand knowledge and joined a home for brain and spine injury residents, where she developed her passion for treating brain and spine disorders. 

To pursue her dream of becoming a top neurosurgeon she took sciences in her school and successfully topped her country. This earned Dr. Ranasinghe an admission for her Bachelor of Science (B. S.) degree with a full scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. And for advanced studies, she joined Dartmouth Medical School to obtain her Medical Degree (M. D.). During her medical school, her excellent performance and passion for learning earned her respect and trust from her faculty. Due to this, the institute awarded her with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center Fellowship to let her pursue brain tumor research with Dr. E. A. Chiocca at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School.

Before moving to Southern California in 2015 and dedicating her life to serving the Los Angeles community, Dr. Ranasinghe completed her neurosurgery residency training with Chairman Dr. Robert Harbaugh and a fellowship in Functional Neurosurgery with Dr. James McInerney at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe, a board-certified through the American Board of Neurological Surgery, is currently running her own practice – Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery and is affiliated with California Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles, Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, and Beverly Hospital.

​​Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe was awarded Los Angeles Magazine’s “Top Doctor” in Neurology for 2021 and 2022.

Top doctors 2020 is honoring Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe as an expert in the field of Neurosurgery

Conditions She Treats

With her passion for helping others restore their mobility and living pain-free lives, Dr. Ranasinghe provides innovative diagnosis and treatment options for a range of brain and spine-related disorders. Some of the conditions she treats are:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Spine (Spondylosis And Spondylolisthesis)
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Carpal Tunnel Disease 
  • Ulnar Nerve Compression
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis
  • Spinal Cord Lipomas And Lipomyelomeningoceles
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chiari Malformation
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Brain Tumors

At Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery, we treat a wide range of conditions related to the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves. To see the complete list, click here.

Her Speciality

She is an expert in Neurosurgery with a track record of thousands of successful cases, treating brain and nervous system disorders. 

What Makes Her The Top Neurosurgeon In Los Angeles

Her patients with serious spine or brain issues highlight the following qualities that they believe make her a great neurosurgeon.

  1. Knowledgeable – She is a highly experienced neurosurgeon with complete command over the complexities of brain and spine related disorders. Dr. Ranasinghe explains what might be going on with the patient’s body when they first meet her.
  2. Understanding – She not only understands her patients’ issues but also takes complaints seriously. Her patients feel prioritized because she listens to their stories, makes an effort, and takes time to completely understand their medical condition and history. 
  3. Credentials – Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe is a board-certified neurosurgeon and has the necessary training, skills, and experience to provide the best options for her patients.
  4. Success Rate – The doctor is always transparent with her patients about her success rates and the inherent risks and rewards there might be in a specific surgery.

What Her Patients Say About Her

She has earned trust and respect from her patients because of her utmost compassion and commitment towards her patients’ well being. As one of Los Angeles’s top neurosurgeons, Dr. Ranasinghe is the go-to Neurosurgeon because of her sophisticated and professional care. Her patients feel comfortable and confident about their treatment.

Reviews from Patients 

Patient reviews about Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

Check out Healthgrades to learn more about Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe’s reviews from her patients.

Schedule An Appointment With Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe

If you or your loved ones have been suffering from a disorder of the brain, spine or peripheral nerves, you may schedule an appointment with Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe through our website. You may also call us at (213) 369-4583. It is important you timely see a neurosurgeon to curb the threat of paralysis or other serious conditions. At South California Brain and Spine Surgery, Dr. Ranasinghe and her professional team can help you determine the best treatment options for your condition.