The article in The Saturday Evening Post, Life in Jeopardy: A Brain Disorder Often Missed, plays an important role in our continued efforts to educate the public and raise awareness about the form of hydrocephalus called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus or NPH. While the condition was identified over 50 years ago, there is little research into the condition, which so far is the only known reversible form of dementia but it is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease. The article details the story of J.D. Cain who was initially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and was later found to have NPH. After successful treatment with a shunt, his symptoms reversed.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently funding only $500,000 of research looking into causes and treatments for NPH, while the number of people affected are estimated between 345,000 and 540,000. At the Hydrocephalus Association, we do not think this is enough. In order to improve the state of research, HA is investing in an adult extension of the work of our pediatric-focused partner, the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN). This effort, led by Dr. Mark Hamilton of Calgary, is a group of physicians collaborating to study the condition and standardize the treatments to improve outcomes.
The Hydrocephalus Association, along with our Medical Advisory Board, will continue to raise awareness for NPH as well as to provide information and support resources to the NPH community. If you need answers to your questions about NPH, you can turn to our NPH Page or download our publication About Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: A Book for Adults and Their Families. You can also ask questions of our Hydrocephalus Resource Library.
Photo credit: Codman