NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Researchers from two high-profile New York City academic labs will use a proteomics methodology in a three-year study to better understand the neurological disorder normal pressure hydrocephalus, or NPH, the researchers announced last week.
Scientists at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center will analyze the proteome of cerebrospinal fluid and use quantitative diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging to “investigate techniques to improve detection of NPH, a condition in which an excess of fluid compresses the brain, causing disturbances in gait, balance, control of urination and memory,” the partners said.
Norman Relkin, director of the Memory Disorders Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said both methods “have shown excellent promise in our preliminary study and could revolutionize" the diagnosis and management of the “little understood” condition.
"NPH is treatable, but grossly under-recognized,” said Relkin, who is also an associate professor of clinical neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College. “Sadly, its symptoms are too often mistaken for Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, or Parkinson's disease.”
There is currently no single method for objectively diagnosing NPH, he added.
The research is one of two three-year projects to be studied by the partners, which together will be funded with more than $1.4 million in grants from the Leon Levy Foundation.
The second project will study chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction by using quantitative diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging, and by performing proteomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.
The study aims to “assess changes in brain structure, particularly in the hippocampus and the white matter, and cognitive functions in adult cancer patients treated with chemotherapy prior to receiving a stem-cell transplant,” the partners said in a statement.
The researchers said they hope the study will lead to "’neuroprotective agents’ that may minimize or prevent chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction.”