Research UPDATE: A Clue to Better Understand and Treat Hydrocephalus


Tamara_SimonShared from our friends at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Dr. Tamara Simon, MD, MSPH, and her research team from Seattle Children’s Hospital have discovered a clue that could help doctors better understand and treat hydrocephalus. Dr. Simon and her team used genetic sequencing to conduct the first-ever inventory of the complex assortment of bacteria and fungi found in the cerebrospinal fluid of eight children with shunt infections. They identified a surprisingly diverse variety of pathogens, many never before associated with shunt infections. This suggests that many different pathogens may conspire to drive the infections, indicating there might be something we can do to better treat and also prevent these difficult infections altogether. 

See the Seattle Children’s blog post about the study here: Discovery could help prevent shunt infections, improve treatment for children with hydrocephalus.

Read the study abstract from PLOS ONE here: Evaluation of Microbial Bacterial and Fungal Diversity in Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt Infection.


Dr. Tamara Simon, MD, MSPH, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and a Pediatric Hospitalist at Children’s Hospital of Seattle. She is also the principal investigator for the shunt infection section of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network’s (HCRN) Registry. She received a BA with honors in molecular biology from Colgate University, a MD with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and a Master’s of Science in Public Health (MSPH) from the University of Colorado at Denver.



6 Responses to “Research UPDATE: A Clue to Better Understand and Treat Hydrocephalus”
  1. mustafa says:

    i have a child 16yrs old he has hydrocephalus diseease .we have done 6 surgeries by installing vp shunt in the both side of head from popular doctor in pakistan during the last 3 years but after 4 to 6 months of each surgery his hunt blocked again and agin ,so please tell me what should we do and how to avoid or minimise the blockage of shunt.
    I will be very thankfull for ur response.
    Mustafa from pakistan

  2. Mary Taylor says:

    I need information and advice. I had surgery for Hydrocephalus 5 years ago at Vanderbilt. My Dr. was able to make a special way to decrease the fluid in my brain without a shunt but said he would insert a shunt if this did not work. I have done well until recently, when my balance has become more difficult to maintain and also I seem to forget names very quickly. My Dr, a neurosurgeon, has told me that he can insert a shunt that has a 70 – 80% chance of improving my symptoms. I have a mass in my 4th ventricle that prevents fluid from circulating normally. I am almost 82 years old and hesitate to have this surgery with the possibility of infection and worsening of balance and memory.
    It took me a long time, over a year, to recover from my previous surgery. I will appreciate any comments or suggestions from those in the medical field or any one who has had similar problems and/or surgery. Thank you for this opportunity to share.

  3. hhzheng says:

    I wonder where is the best place(s) to treat communicating hydrocephalus from a 5 year old boy. He probably needs a shunt ?

  4. Kyna W says:

    My baby was recently diagnosed with L1 Syndrome/X Link Hydrocephalus. His doctors haven’t given me much information on what I could do for him other than therapy and keeping a close eye on him. They don’t think a shunt will help as of now. If anyone can help, I will truly be grateful.

  5. Kimberly says:

    My Baby was diagnosed with congenital hydrocephalus… So far we have seen only one neurosurgeon, he says he doesnt need a shunt.. Does everyone with hydrocephalus needs to have a shunt placed? He is 5 monhts old today. My last baby I had before this one is 6 years old now and I kind of forgot how to have a baby… I know, kinda dumb.. But i am thinking he has some developmental delays.. I really think I need a 2nd opinion but I do not know where to start! :/

  6. amandagarzon says:

    Kimberly, please email our support team at Not everyone with hydrocephalus has a shunt placed. Doctors determine if the hydrocephalus is progressive or stable. So, individuals who are not shunted immediately are monitored over time and then will receive treatment if their hydrocephalus continues to progress. Again, please email us and we can provide you with more information.

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