Archive for April, 2012

Investigator Garners NIH Career Award

By John Kestle, Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Congratulations to Dr. David Limbrick, HCRN Site PI at Washington University/St. Louis Children’s Hospital, who was just awarded a K23 Career Development Award by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS/NIH).  David’s project, titled “CSF levels of L1CAM and amyloid precursor protein in post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus of prematurity,” involves the creation of an HCRN-wide multi-institutional CSF bank to study post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH).  This project also draws on early work from David’s laboratory demonstrating specific alterations in the levels of the proteins L1CAM and APP in PHH.  Over the next 5 years, David will focus on developing these and other proteins as biomarkers of PHH and PHH-related neurological injury.  Ultimately, these biomarkers will be used to complement ventricular size measurements (e.g. CT or MRI) to improve the care and neurological outcomes of infants with PHH.

Dave’s award is the third NIH award for an HCRN investigator and second career award in the group and part of an important trend of receiving public funding for hydrocephalus research and the efforts of the network.

New HCRN Study Up and Running

By John Kestle, Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The HCRN has successfully launched a new, potentially ground-breaking study across the Network. This study, titled Ventricular Involvement in Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Hydrocephalus, or VINOH for short, is funded by a Mentored Young Investigator award from the Hydrocephalus Association received by Dr. Jay Riva-Cambrin at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. This study is looking into the short term implications hydrocephalus may have for school-aged patients concerning school performance, cognitive functioning, and social well-being. In addition, this study will be addressing the very important question of if and to what extent ventricle size impacts both, neuropsychological and clinical outcomes. Another exciting aspect of the VINOH study is the collaboration it has initiated across all HCRN Centers between the neurosurgical and neuropsychological staff, who are instrumental in the VINOH Study’s success. It is hoped that the collaboration begun between the care providers from these two different departments may continue in the future and serve to further improve outcomes for hydrocephalus patients. Congratulations to the Primary Children’s Team in getting this study going for the Network and hydrocephalus patients!