Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug protects mice against malaria brain damage, raises levels of BDNF in humans

Date:
March 6, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
Cerebral malaria is a serious complication of infection with the malaria parasite, affecting approximately one in a thousand children in areas where malaria is common. Many of the patients die, and among those who survive, about a third have lasting cognitive and neurological disabilities, including epilepsy and learning disorders. A new study shows that a known drug can prevent brain damage in a cerebral malaria mouse model and eliminate subsequent neurological deficits.

Cerebral malaria is a serious complication of infection with the malaria parasite, affecting approximately one in a thousand children in areas where malaria is common. Many of the patients die, and among those who survive, about a third have lasting cognitive and neurological disabilities, including epilepsy and learning disorders. A study published on March 6th in PLOS Pathogens shows that a known drug can prevent brain damage in a cerebral malaria mouse model and eliminate subsequent neurological deficits.

Infection with the malaria parasite elicits a strong immune response in the patient, and it is known that both parasite and host response contribute to the nervous system problems in cerebral malaria. Lena Serghides, from the Toronto General Research Institute, Canada, and colleagues are interested in modulating the host response to malaria infection, in addition to anti-parasite drugs, with the goal to improve outcomes in patients.

They focused on a drug called rosiglitazone (approved for patients with diabetes) which activates a molecule called PPARɣ and is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Using a mouse model of cerebral malaria, they show that when they give rosiglitazone in addition to antimalarial drugs at the onset of cerebral malaria symptoms, mice are more likely to survive, and the survivors which had received rosiglitazone did not show the brain abnormalities or cognitive defects seen in surviving mice that had only received antimalarial drugs.

When they compared both groups of mice at the molecular level, they found that rosiglitazone protects the integrity of the blood-brain-barrier and increases the level of anti-oxidant enzymes and of neuroprotective factors in the brain. One of the latter, called BDNF (for brain-derived neurotropic factor), was also increased in the blood of adult human patients with uncomplicated malaria who had participated in a clinical trial and received antimalarial drugs plus rosiglitazone, compared with other trial participants who had only taken antimalarials.

"Our results demonstrate that rosiglitazone adjunctive therapy resulted in increased survival and protection from long-term cognitive impairments in a mouse model of cerebral malaria," the authors say, "And the clinical trial data suggests that this approved drug, which has an excellent safety profile when taken for limited periods, might also induce such putative protective mechanisms in humans." They conclude that "in view of these results, testing rosiglitazone in patients with cerebral malaria is warranted."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Lena Serghides, Chloe R. McDonald, Ziyue Lu, Miriam Friedel, Cheryl Cui, Keith T. Ho, Howard T. J. Mount, John G. Sled, Kevin C. Kain. PPARγ Agonists Improve Survival and Neurocognitive Outcomes in Experimental Cerebral Malaria and Induce Neuroprotective Pathways in Human Malaria. PLoS Pathogens, 2014; 10 (3): e1003980 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003980

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Drug protects mice against malaria brain damage, raises levels of BDNF in humans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306191518.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, March 6). Drug protects mice against malaria brain damage, raises levels of BDNF in humans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306191518.htm
PLOS. "Drug protects mice against malaria brain damage, raises levels of BDNF in humans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306191518.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
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