Glossary term:

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Some people, particularly young, ladies, can develop abnormally high pressure inside their head with no underlying cause being found, in particular no evidence of a malignant brain tumour. For this reason the original name for this condition was “benign intracranial hypertension”, this term indicating that investigations have found no evidence of an underlying, malignant brain tumour. Another name for the condition, favoured in the USA, is “pseudotumour cerebri”. The modern term for the condition reflects the fact that uncontrolled raised pressure can, over a period of time, lead to permanent loss of vision, not just troublesome headaches, which can reasonably be regarded as a far from benign condition.