We used MR imaging to measure the apparent brain water self-diffusion in 5 patients with normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), in 2 patients with high pressure hydrocephalus (HPH), and in 8 age-matched controls. In all patients with NPH significant elevations of the apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) of brain water were found within periventricular white matter, in the corpus callosum, in the internal capsule, within cortical gray matter, and in cerebrospinal fluid, whereas normal ADCs were found within the basal ganglia. In 2 patients with HPH elevated ADCs were found most prominently within white matter, and in one patient reexamined one year after surgery, ADCs were unchanged in nearly all brain regions. The increased ADC values in hydrocephalus patients may be caused by factors such as changes in myelin-associated bound water, increased Virchow-Robin spaces, and increased extracellular brain water fraction. For further studies of brain water diffusion in hydrocephalus patients, echo-planar imaging techniques with imaging times of a few seconds may be valuable.