James (Pat) McAllister, PhD

Professor of Neurosurgery

Improving clinical treatments for hydrocephalus Read More

Email: pat.mcallister@wustl.edu
Lab Phone: (314) 747-8773
Website: McAllister Lab
Lab Location: BJC Institute of Health

Improving clinical treatments for hydrocephalus

For nearly 30 years my lab has maintained a comprehensive interdisciplinary translational research program whose ultimate goal is to improve clinical treatments for hydrocephalus, aprevalent form of traumatic brain injury caused by failure to absorb cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).This program continues to explore the cellular and physiological neuropathology associated withneonatal, infantile and adult hydrocephalus and focuses on neuroinflammation, non-invasive neuroimaging (MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and MR elastography), pharmacological strategies for neuroprotection and recovery of function, and clinical evaluations of patient outcome and new treatment applications. Our multidisciplinary approach also includes biomedical engineering improvements in the design of CSF drainage systems (shunts), development of implantable sensors, and the biocompatibility of neural prostheses. Based on the recognition that treatment improvements for hydrocephalus have not progressed because of our lack of knowledge about the pathophysiology of this frequent disorder, I recently moved from the University of Utah to collaborate with David D. Limbrick, MD, PhD, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Washington University and a member of the Hope Center. We are expanding Dr. Limbrick’s clinical research program to include several animal models of hydrocephalus: a porcine model to test the efficacy of a new neurosurgical procedure, combined endoscopic third ventriculostomy and choroidplexectomy; an infant ferret model to measure biomechanical changes during progressive hydrocephalus; a neonatal rat model of communicating hydrocephalus to explore all aspects of pathophysiology, and finally a congenital rat model of aqueductal stenosis to identify pathogenetic mechanisms and neurodevelopmental outcomes. All of these approaches will involve advanced neuroimaging, protein analyses of CSF, immunohistochemistry of brain tissue, and disease modulation with anti-inflammation agents and chemokines.


Updated January 2015

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