Because hydrocephalus can injure the brain, thought and behavior may be adversely affected. Learning disabilities including short-term memory loss are common among those with hydrocephalus, who tend to score better on verbal IQ than on performance IQ, which is thought to reflect the distribution of nerve damage to the brain. However the severity of hydrocephalus can differ considerably between individuals and some are of average or above-average intelligence. Someone with hydrocephalus may have motivation and visual problems, problems with coordination, or may be clumsy. They may reach puberty earlier than the average child (see precocious puberty). About one in four develops epilepsy.
Because the problem resides inside the head, doctors rely heavily on computer tomography scanning (CT scans), which may be used frequently to evaluate the condition of the disorder throughout the patient's life. Each CT scan exposes the patient to many times the level of x-ray radiation of a chest x-ray. See CT radiation exposure.