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 October 22, 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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