Hydrocephalus literally means “water on the brain.” The “water” is actually an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that has leaked inside the skull, leading to brain swelling. CSF is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, providing both nutrients and protection. Buildup of CSF can occur in the brain if the flow or absorption of CSF is blocked or too much CSF is produced by the body. This leads to increased pressure within the skull that presses on the sensitive brain tissues. Increased intracranial pressure can lead to permanent, irreversible brain damage and death.