HA Funds Research, Announces New Research Grants

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By Gavin Reed, HA Research Associate

HA is pleased to announce two recipients of the Hydrocephalus Association’s grant program focusing on CSF Production, Flow, and Regulation. The long term goal of these grants is to create therapeutic interventions such as a pill that could control intracranial pressure. The grantees are:

pat mcallister, phd

Pat McAllister, Ph.D.

miles johnston, phd

Miles Johnston, Ph.D.

Pat McAllister, Ph.D., Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Basic Hydrocephalus Research at the University of Utah, will investigate abnormal development along the ventricular walls in the brain which causes blockage of normal cerebrospinal fluid flow. His team hopes to use this information to develop novel approaches to protect or repair a hydrocephalic brain.

Miles Johnston, Ph.D., Professor of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, will be investigating cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage mechanisms, specifically the role that the lymphatic vessels of the brain play in relation to CSF clearance. His group hopes to test how these lymphatic vessels respond to pharmaceutical intervention in relation to CSF drainage.

The research awards granted to Dr. McAllister and Dr. Johnston total $400,000 in new funding for hydrocephalus research and, along with prior awards, represent major progress around HA’s five year research plan which includes the following three priorities:

  • Supporting the field of Hydrocephalus Research with Mentored Young Investigator Awards and the sponsorship of scientific conferences
  • Supporting clinical research aimed at reducing shunt failure and improving outcomes
  • Making basic science investments to understand the root causes of hydrocephalus

These new awards, aimed at increasing our understanding of the dynamics of cerebral spinal fluid, are HA’s first investments in the pathophysiology of CSF as part of the third priority of the five year plan. The Hydrocephalus Association has now funded grants totaling $1,367,000 since it initiated its commitment to support and fund research in 2009.

4 Comments for : HA Funds Research, Announces New Research Grants
    • tbistebo
    • December 26, 2011

    In July of 1998, my husband was involved in an industrial accident that caused him to have a traumatic brain injury. He was diagnosed of having Hydrocephalus due to an inoperable mid-brain cyst 3-4mm from his brain stem. An Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy, (ETV), was performed, then he was implanted with a Rickham button shunt with complications of his body rejecting the shunt, a foreign object. Upon removal of this shunt, the catheter of the Rickham shunt was infected and this resulted my husband to have staph infection of the brain. From 1998 to 2000, he was dysfunctional for two years caused by this staph infection. CT Scans and MRI’s was the only tools used to monitor the hydrocephalus and the constant flow through my husband’s third ventricle for any build up of fluid.
    My husband was not shunted until his birthday in March of 2004. He became gravely ill to a point of being brain damaged due to his third ventricle building up of Hydrocephalus due to the inoperable mid-brain cyst. He has an implant of a MedTronic Programmable VP Shunt. Since then, he has not had a revision.
    A recent CT Scan has shown that my husband has a partial blockage and will need to have a revision. He is showing subtle signs and symptoms of a shunt malfunction, and is awaiting a second opinion on this prognosis if his shunt needs to be revised.
    My husband and I welcome any comments from Hydrocephalus individuals who have been implanted with a shunt that had to be revised or be implanted with a newer version of another shunt. We are iin an unfamiliar territory when it comes to this. You can reach us at : stevenriker@ymail.com
    Have a “Happy New Year of 2012!” May it be prosperous in fortunes of good health, comforting joy, and much love. Blessings to all

    • Shaquetta Norris
    • December 25, 2011

    I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas …. God Bless you all Xoxoxoxo

    • Meg
    • December 19, 2011

    My son was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at 4days of life. He has had surgery to have a shunt. He is responding to it beautifully. As a first time mom I’ve never been so scared in my intire life. We spent 8 weeks in NICU at Maine medical center in Portland Maine. We are home now and Trey is 4 months old. Not to mention he was a premie. We have no answers or explanation as to why this happened to our son. I had a healthy great pregnancy with no complications. my family is looking for support groups and or foundations, and any way we can give help or receive support from others who have Been through similar situations. I would love to participate in a walk or fundraiser for this disability. Any suggestions please write to me at megsays@ hotmail.com thank you! God bless

    • Katherine Weiser
    • December 11, 2011

    I am so thankful that HA exists. I am a 54yr old woman with HPH that has not responded to shunting. I am hoping I can find a clinical
    Trial to participate in. The associations commitment to research is the only thing that gives me hope for the future.

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