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View of a brain section at the laboratory in Medellin, Colombia. Photo: Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images

A Colombian neurosurgeon is responsible for discovering that some dementias once considered to be simply senility could be successfully treated.

Why it matters: Salomón Hakim provided the annals of neurology with one of the most original bodies of research by developing the concept of normal pressure hydrocephalus. His findings changed the study of dementia.

Details: Born to a family of Lebanese immigrants in 1922, Hakim became a neurosurgeon after studying in Bogotá. He accepted a fellowship in the U.S. in the 1950s while he focused on the mystery of dementia.

  • While working at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Colombia in 1957, Hakim first encountered the condition he originally named symptomatic occult hydrocephalus.
  • A 16-year-old comatose male patient suffered from a severe head injury in an automotive accident. Blood began pooling on the surface of the brain and had to be drained.
  • Surgery did not improve the patient's condition. He found that the patient was suffering from a condition now known as normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH).

What it means: NPH is brain disorder in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain's ventricles, a network of cavities inside the brain filled with fluid, causing thinking and reasoning problems.

  • It also results in difficulty walking and loss of bladder control.

Hakim proposed treating patients by taking some cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the patients with NPH as he had treated the young head injury patient.

The intrigue: Hakim's work fundamentally changed the quality of life for millions of elderly patients across the world.

  • He became a neurosurgeon superstar, invited to speak across the globe about his work on the brain.

Don't forget: Alzheimer’s among U.S. Latinos is forecast to grow almost 600% in the next 25 years, but they’re chronically under-enrolled in clinical trials of drugs to treat the disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

Developed countries reveal $100 billion climate finance plan ahead of COP26

Alok Sharma, head of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, speaks in Paris on Oct. 12. ( Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

After 12 years of fits and starts, industrialized nations on Monday put forward a detailed plan to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate aid to developing countries starting by 2023.

Why it matters: The plan, presented by representatives of Canada and Germany, is aimed at defusing one of the biggest sources of tension at COP26, which is the failure of industrialized nations to follow through on their financial commitments.

2 hours ago - Health

Moderna says COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in kids

Photo: Martin Galindo/Long Visual Press/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Moderna on Monday released trial results for its coronavirus vaccine for children aged 6 to 11, saying it provides a "robust" immune response after two doses.

Why it matters: Moderna said it will officially submit the results to the Food and Drug Administration for authorization in "the near term," meaning we could soon see two coronavirus vaccines available to protect approximately 28 million more kids in the U.S.