On November 14, 2013, Seattle Seahawks owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced that he will fund a two-year, $2.4 million study looking into the long-term implications of damage to the brain caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a blow(s) to the head. The Seattle-based project will bring together scientists from the University of Washington (UW) and the Allen Institute for Brain Science. A principal investigator on the UW team is Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, a University of Washington neurosurgeon and a member of the Hydrocephalus Association Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Ellenbogen volunteers as a neurological specialist to the NFL.
“We are very excited about the potential of this research to shed more light on the public health and personal impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its effect on long term consequences to patients, to include hydrocephalus,” stated Dr. Ellenbogen.
The scientists will have access to Group Health’s brain bank, the world’s largest collection of brains donated to science for research. The research hopes to accomplish a number of tasks, including increasing our understanding of the basic physiology and complex workings of the brain, as well as the long-term effects (such as dementia) from damage to the brain due to TBI. This greater understanding of brain function and TBI may also shed some light on the biological mechanisms associated with hydrocephalus.