SOURCE: The Hydrocephalus Association

The Hydrocephalus Association

December 17, 2009 17:25 ET

Hydrocephalus Association Launches Research Initiative

Orphaned Brain Condition to Receive Much Needed Funding

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 17, 2009) - The Hydrocephalus Association has announced research grants to scientists at five medical centers, in a new initiative to address the shortfall in progress in the treatment of hydrocephalus, a condition affecting one million Americans. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid collects in the ventricles of the brain, causing neurological symptoms that can become life threatening. It strikes all ages from newborns to the elderly. There is no cure and treatment options are limited to surgical procedures developed more than 50 years ago.

"We were very impressed with the quality of applicants and institutions in our first grant cycle," said David Browdy, Associate Dean of the Feinberg Medical School and Chairman of the Hydrocephalus Association's Research Committee. "The five mentored Young Investigator Awards are being awarded to researchers at Cornell Medical College, the Scripps Research Institute, University of Utah, Harvard/Children's Hospital Boston and the Cleveland Clinic."

The two-year awards of $110,000 will support the work of young investigators under the mentorship of senior researchers at these leading research institutions. The awards are the first major step of the Hydrocephalus Association's new mission to eliminate the challenges of hydrocephalus by stimulating innovative research to improve outcomes and eventually find a cure for hydrocephalus.

About Hydrocephalus and the Hydrocephalus Association

--  On average 6,000 babies are born with the condition every year in the
    U.S. and thousands are diagnosed later in childhood or as adults.
--  Over 36,000 shunt surgeries are performed each year in the U.S. (an
    average of one every fifteen minutes) at costs that exceeds $2 billion
--  Hydrocephalus is most commonly treated with a shunt. Approximately 50
    percent will fail within two years and 85% fail within 10 years.
--  Accurate diagnosis and treatment of the 375,000-plus adults over 60
    could save Medicare $184 million over five years.
--  Public investment in hydrocephalus research by the National Institutes
    of Health is significantly lower than other conditions with similar
    prevalence in the population including Down syndrome, autism and
    Parkinson's disease.
--  The Hydrocephalus Association, based in San Francisco, is a 501©(3)
    founded in 1983 to support families affected by hydrocephalus.

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