Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is a common blinding condition amongst the young obese female population (20 per 100,000) characterised by elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). The aetiology of IIH is not known. In this review we explore the literature investigating the pathogenesis of IIH and suggest additional hypotheses. Chronic inflammation is emerging as an aetiological factor in the pathogenesis of obesity and we propose that this may be a feature of IIH. Obesity is also related to dysregulation of cortisol production by the pre-receptor enzyme, 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and we speculate that this may have a role in the pathogenesis of obesity and raised ICP seen in IIH.
- 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
- Chronic inflammation