Archive for May, 2012

HCRN Investigators To Direct Panels at Upcoming Research Conference


By Paul Gross, Friday, May 18th, 2012

The Hydrocephalus Association announced details today about its upcoming conference on hydrocephalus research in partnership with Seattle Children’s, University of Utah and HCRN. The conference is entitled “Opportunities in Hydrocephalus Research: Pathways to Better Outcomes.” Several HCRN investigators are directing talks on topics including biomarkers, bio-engineering advances, surgical treatments and neurological outcomes. This research conference is unique in the fact that the research is presented in a patient centric fashion working from basic injury mechanisms, to diagnoses, treatments and then outcomes. Dr. Sam Browd, Dr. Pat McAllister and Paul Gross have developed the agenda which also includes a track on bio-engineering as well as basic science and clinical research. HCRN PI’s presenting include Dr. David Limbrick presenting on biomarkers in post hemorrhagic hydrocephalus, Dr. Jay Riva-Cambrin on critical assessment of new techniques and Dr. Abhaya Kulkarni on neurological outcomes and quality of life. Dr. Jack Walker will moderate the group discussion on treatment of hydrocephalus and Dr. John Kestle will provide a critical summary of the clinical aspects of the symposium. To learn more about the conference go to the Hydrocephalus Association announcement.

Semi-Annual Meeting of HCRN Includes Discussion of New ETV Study


By John Kestle, Saturday, May 12th, 2012

The spring 2012 meeting of HCRN was held May 10/11 in Houston. The HCRN team welcomed Dawn Mancuso (CEO of HA) and Gavin Reed (Research Program Manager for HA) to the meeting. It was a great opportunity for the HA representatives and the HCRN members to get to know each other and their organizations in more detail.

The scientific discussions included a proposal by Dr Kulkarni for a new study on third ventriculostomy combined with choroid plexus coagulation. This procedure was developed by Dr B Warf in Uganda and is now catching on in some centers in North America. The study plan is being developed and will hopefully begin later this year.

Dr Whitehead’s study of ultrasound guided shunt placement was discussed. Data were analyzed on the position of the ventricular catheter and the location of the shunt. Fewer ventricular catheters ended up in a poor position using ultrasound.

The Core Data Project has accumulated enough patients to begin analysis of the factors leading to shunt failure or infection. These studies were described by Dr Riva-Cambrin and Dr Simon.

The NIH recently announced a K award to Dr D Limbrick. His study will analyze proteins in the CSF of premature children to see if they predict hydrocephalus. His protocol was reviewed. It is currently under IRB review and will launch soon.

Paul Gross presented data that he and Gavin Reed extracted from NIH RePORTER. Their analysis demonstrated the pattern of funding for hydrocephalus projects over the last 10 years and engendered a great deal of discussion and speculation.

The next HCRN meeting will be in the fall in Salt Lake City, but a number of HCRN members will be attending the July Hydrocephalus Research in Seattle.