Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

05 September 2014

Top neuroscientists in Bristol for hydrocephalus conference

Around 300 top neuroscientists from around the world will be in Bristol this weekend for the sixth meeting of the International Society of Hydrocephalus and Cerebrospinal Fluid (ISHCSF) Disorders.

The 2014 conference, to take place from Friday 5 to Monday 8 September at the University of Bristol's Wills Memorial Building, is the largest meeting worldwide dedicated to research into hydrocephalus and related disorders.

Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid on the brain. It occurs when cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) - the clear, water-like fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord - is unable to drain from the brain.  The excess fluid puts pressure on the brain, which can damage it.  Hydrocephalus can usually be treated using a piece of equipment known as a shunt.  A shunt is a thin tube that is surgically implanted in the brain and drains away the excess fluid.

The conference will cover the full range of CSF disorders affecting both children and adults.  On Friday [5 September], 100 delegates will attend a satellite educational symposium on Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) to raise awareness amongst clinicians of the growing importance of NPH as a treatable cause of cognitive impairment and falls in the elderly.

At this year's meeting, there will be a special session led by Jon Clark from Baylor College of Medicine Center for Space Medicine on visual impairment/intracranial pressure (VIIP), a condition affecting astronauts undertaking prolonged space flights, such as a planned Mars mission.  VIIP is considered one of NASA's top health concerns, as impairment of an astronaut's vision on a long-duration exploration mission could compromise the astronaut's health and put mission safety at risk.

Over the last 12 months members of the ISHCSF, in collaboration with the Baylor Center for Space Medicine, have been working towards a better understanding of VIIP and how it may impact on plans for prolonged space flight missions, included a manned Mars 'fly-by' mission.

Jon Clark will discuss the possible health and safety challenges associated with getting humans to Mars.

During the conference there will be sessions dedicated to advanced neuro-imaging techniques in hydrocephalus and on CSF shunt design and technology.

Richard Edwards, consultant neurosurgeon at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, senior clinical lecturer in the School of Clinical Sciences and Congress President, said: "With an exciting group of speakers from a wide range of disciplines, this year's conference programme will enable an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas to help speed the progress to improving the diagnosis and treatment of hydrocephalus and CSF disorders."

The meeting will have sessions devoted to education in the field of hydrocephalus including a satellite session for trainee doctors with an interest in hydrocephalus and a satellite meeting of the International Hydrocephalus Imaging Working Group (IHIWG), which hold the autumn meeting of the group in conjunction with the ISHCSF. There will also be an industry sponsored "Young Investigators Award".