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Ideopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor)


This condition, sometimes called a false brain tumor, is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid pressure in the skull. It most commonly affects obese women ages 20 to 50. The reason it develops is unknown.

About CSF

Cerebrospinal fluid, commonly called CSF is produced inside the brain. This colorless fluid absorbs shocks, carries nutrients and waste, and regulates pressure in the skull. It normally flows through and around the brain and down the spinal cord, where it is absorbed by the blood stream.

Excess CSF

In cases of pseudotumor cerebri, this normal flow of fluid becomes disrupted. Excess CSF builds up in the skull and presses against the brain. This pressure can damage the brain's delicate tissue.


A patient who has this condition may experience a range of symptoms similar to the symptoms caused by an actual brain tumor. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, blurred or double vision and pulsing sounds in the ears. It can cause permanent vision loss.


Treatment options vary depending on the individual. Treatment may include weight loss, medications, and surgical implantation of a shunt to drain the excess fluid. After a diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri, the patient will need to have periodic vision checkups.

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