Pipeline to a Cure: from Bench to Bedside
$3M VISION DINNER INITIATIVE TO ACCELERATE A CURE FOR HYDROCEPHALUS
The Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus (PHH) Campaign, supported through the goals of the Vision Dinner, is a three-year, three million dollar initiative. Launched in 2016, the campaign seeks to bring awareness of and funding for research on PHH, the most prevalent form of pediatric hydrocephalus in the United States. PHH develops after a brain bleed and most often occurs in premature infants, although PHH can also develop in adults. Infants with PHH are an extremely vulnerable population and are likely to suffer from intellectual disabilities and the co-occurrence of epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Hydrocephalus patients with PHH also suffer from high shunt failure and infection rates, as compared to other forms hydrocephalus, relegating children to a lifetime of repeat brain surgeries to manage their condition. There is hope.
Guided by a diverse group of researchers including pediatric neurosurgeons, neurologists, and neuropsychologists and scientists in the fields of brain injury and development, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics, and fluid barriers in the brain, HA identified the key areas of promise into PHH research that will be funded through this effort:
PREDICT PHH DEVELOPMENT
After a brain bleed, it is unclear why some children develop PHH and others do not. Biomarkers that predicted the development of PHH could lead to earlier intervention and improved outcomes.
PREVENT BRAIN BLEEDS
Preterm infants are particularly susceptible to brain bleeds due to developmental factors. By targeting the blood vessels that most often rupture, we could prevent bleeds in this vulnerable populations.
STOP BRAIN DAMAGE
Blood damages the brain through a variety of mechanisms. Discovering and stopping these blood-derived factors could stop the damage and prevent the development of PHH.
REESTABLISH CSF FLOW
After a brain bleed, it is believed that the blood and secondary scarring blocks the flow of CSF. Finding new ways to reestablish CSF flow could prevent PHH and minimize secondary injury mechanisms.
REPAIR BRAIN DAMAGE
PHH can damage the brain and also alter future brain development. Finding strategies to repair the brain will improve long term outcomes for those affected by the condition.
To date, we have secured nearly $2M toward our goal and look forward to engaging many more families in this effort to end PHH