New Study nurse with focus on Clinical Hydrocephalus projects

Naomi Wakabayashi, Nina Rostgaard & Marianne Juhler

Production of CSF occurs in the ventricular system of the brain but exactly how the fluid dynamics work remains to be elucidated.

As part of the Copenhagen CSF Study Group, I work with recruitment of hydrocephalus patients in various research projects.

Today, patients with hydrocephalus are treated with invasive neurosurgical interventions such as shunt treatment or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) depending on the etiology. Among other risks the invasive procedures cause potential risk of infections. Further we see overdrainage (potentially causing subdural hematoma/hygroma) and underdrainage, or even the absence of effect, leading to shunt revisions, and causing an even higher risk of infections.

In my daily work I collaborate with Human Biologist Nina Rostgaard in gathering the patients’ data into a biobank, making the foundation to investigate the inflammation markers, water molecules, and neurotransmitters in the CSF. The aim is to replace invasive interventions as shunt treatment and ETV with pharmacological alternatives.

In my work I seek out patients with hydrocephalus in the neurosurgical department at Rigshospitalet, participate in the initial work-up, make sure that the patients get the adequate information about our biobank and the projects in general, and obtain informed consent for study participation.

I collect CSF samples and make sure the CSF and/or blood samples are handled and preserved for the biobank. Further I record patients in the hydrocephalus database.

I have been working with hydrocephalus patients for nearly six years at The Memory Clinic at the neurological department at Rigshospitalet. About 20 percent of the referred patients in The Memory clinic presents a possible normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) diagnosis. During the years I found, that there is a huge need for further research of the hydrocephalus condition, the etiologies, and the possibility of non-invasive treatments. I therefore find it important and interesting to work and participate in the research in the CSF Study Group.