Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

IV treatment may lower risk of dying from bacterial meningitis

Date:
September 30, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
New research shows that an intravenous treatment -- called dexamethasone -- may cut a person's risk of dying from bacterial meningitis.

New research shows that an intravenous (IV) treatment may cut a person's risk of dying from bacterial meningitis. The research is published in the September 29, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The treatment is called dexamethasone.

"Using this treatment in people infected with meningitis has been under debate because in a few large studies it was shown to be ineffective," said study author Diederik van de Beek, MD, PhD, with the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Our results provide valuable evidence suggesting that dexamethasone is effective in adult cases of bacterial meningitis and should continue to be used."

Bacterial meningitis is a condition that causes membranes in the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed. The disease can be deadly, or result in hearing loss, brain damage and learning disabilities. Pneumococcal meningitis is the most common and severe form of bacterial meningitis. It is estimated that about 25 to 30 percent of people die from the disease.

For the study, researchers evaluated 357 Dutch people age 16 or older with pneumococcal meningitis between 2006 and 2009. Of those, 84 percent were given dexamethasone through an IV with or before the first dose of antibiotics. The results were compared to an earlier study of 352 people treated for bacterial meningitis in 1998-2002, before Netherlands guidelines recommended using dexamethasone. In that study, only three percent of the people were given dexamethasone.

In both studies, participants were assessed on a rating scale of one to five. A score of one was given for death, two for coma, three for severe disability, four for moderate disability and five for mild or no disability. In the later study, 39 percent had an "unfavorable outcome," or a score of four or lower on the scale, compared to 50 percent in the earlier study group.

The study found that the rate of death for those who were given dexamethasone was 10 percent lower than in those in early study group. The rates of hearing loss were also nearly 10 percent lower for those in the later study group.

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis are neck stiffness, fever and an altered mental state. These are also symptoms of viral meningitis, which is more common, much less serious and was not the focus of this study. Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency and is diagnosed by culturing bacteria from the spinal fluid or by observing changes in the spinal fluid which indicate the presence of bacteria. Bacterial meningitis must always be treated with antibiotics in addition to medications like dexamethasone, which is a medication of the glucocorticosteroid class of drugs and may be used for bacterial meningitis.

The study was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development and the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. E. Soemirien Kasanmoentalib, Matthijs C. Brouwer, Arie van der Ende, and Diederik van de Beek. Hydrocephalus in adults with community-acquired bacterial meningitis. Neurology, 2010; 75: 918-923 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "IV treatment may lower risk of dying from bacterial meningitis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163415.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, September 30). IV treatment may lower risk of dying from bacterial meningitis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163415.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "IV treatment may lower risk of dying from bacterial meningitis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929163415.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) 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