Team Hydro is thrilled to have supported Dr. Bonnie Blazer-Yost and her team in their quest to develop a non-surgical treatment for hydrocephalus. In 2017, we announced the news of a wonderful “million-dollar breakthrough” from their lab: preliminary results from research funded by our seed grant enabled a one million dollar follow-up grant from the Department of Defense. Today, we are pleased to provide additional follow-up to this story, as we share a paper recently published by her group which details this ongoing project.
In the paper, the researchers make a compelling case for a potential new treatment for hydrocephalus. More specifically, they provide extensive evidence that the gene TRPV4 may play a key role in the biological process that results in hydrocephalus. They then demonstrate that blocking the activity of TRPV4 in mice appears to prevent hydrocephalus with no evidence of significant side effects. Excitingly, they also observe that drugs that block TRPV4 have already been developed for other diseases and shown to be safe in human patients. Taken together, this provides encouraging evidence that TRPV4-inhibitors could be trialed for hydrocephalus in the near future. While there are no guarantees in the field of drug development, these are extremely promising results.