Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cerebral Malaria May Be A Major Cause Of Brain Injury In African Children

Date:
July 30, 2008
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
Researchers have found that cerebral malaria is related to long-term cognitive impairment in one of four child survivors. The research is published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that cerebral malaria is related to long-term cognitive impairment in one of four child survivors. The research is published in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Malaria is a leading cause of death for children in sub-Saharan Africa. Cerebral malaria, which affects more than 750,000 children a year, is one of the deadliest forms of malaria. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to contract the disease that directly affects the brain, causing fever, vomiting, chills, and coma.

"Children with cerebral malaria recover quite dramatically if they survive the period of coma," said Chandy John, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and principal investigator of the study. "But before this study, no one had prospectively assessed what happened to their thinking in the years after they had the cerebral malaria episode."

John worked with Michael Boivin, Ph.D., M.P.H., an expert in neuropsychology from Michigan State University, to evaluate cognitive function in children 5-12 years old with cerebral malaria who had been admitted to the Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. The children were evaluated for cognitive function in three major areas: attention, working memory, and tactile learning. Evaluation was done at hospitalization, six months after the initial malaria episode, and two years after the episode.

John and Boivin found that at six months, 21 percent of children with cerebral malaria had cognitive impairment compared with 6 percent of their healthy Ugandan peers. At two years, cognitive impairment was present in 26 percent of the patients, compared with 8 percent of the community children. These findings suggest that cognitive impairment may begin to manifest itself months after the initial episode. Cognitive function was most dramatically impaired in the area of attention. "The study has major public health implications," John noted. "If 26 pecent of children with cerebral malaria have long-term cognitive impairment, which means more than 200,000 children a year may have significant long-term brain injury because of cerebral malaria."

John and Boivin are currently conducting a new study in Uganda to look at how the body's response to malaria infection may be leading to brain injury. "If we can determine what is causing the brain injury, we can design and test interventions to prevent the injury," John said.

The research was conducted in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, Makerere University in Uganda, and Michigan State University. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center, the University of Minnesota, and a Fulbright African Regional Research Award.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Cerebral Malaria May Be A Major Cause Of Brain Injury In African Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133519.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2008, July 30). Cerebral Malaria May Be A Major Cause Of Brain Injury In African Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133519.htm
University of Minnesota. "Cerebral Malaria May Be A Major Cause Of Brain Injury In African Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133519.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins