A rock star's dementia has been reversed thanks to a medical procedure. The 70-year-old lead guitarist performed with legends like Kiss, Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, but all that changed in 2007 when Dick Wagner suffered both a stroke and a heart attack. A fall, a blood clot and surgery added to Wagner's woes, according to a Jan. 16, 2013 report by ABC News. Then things got even worse. He developed dementia.
In 2011, Wagner was diagnosed with a condition called normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), which is characterized by a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. It leads to brain swelling. The resulting pressure from this excess fluid compresses nerves that control the legs and bladder. The affected nerves also control cognitive function. The rock star's dementia was a result of NPH.
Fortunately for Wagner, doctors at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. discovered a way to reverse the rock star's dementia. They inserted a shunt into his brain that drains a small amount of excess spinal fluid from his drain into his abdomen on a daily basis. He will live with this shunt for the remainder of his life.
You can learn more about NPH at Medicine Plus, which is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.