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.

Related Articles


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 April 18, 2015 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 April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

Boy or Girl? Intersex Awareness Is on the Rise

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) At least 1 in 5,000 U.S. babies are born each year with intersex conditions _ ambiguous genitals because of genetic glitches or hormone problems. Secrecy and surgery are common. But some doctors and activists are trying to change things. (April 17) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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