Surviving Encephalitis – ABC News

Many encephalitis patients become depressed, dejected and struggle to pay bills while grappling with disorientation, memory loss, and trouble speaking and understanding others, according to a report entitled: “I’m Not the Me I Remember: Fighting Encephalitis,” released this week in conjunction with Rare Disease Day 2012, which is today. The report was compiled by Inspire, which provides online communities for a variety of illnesses, and Encephalitis Global Inc., a nonprofit patient advocacy group founded in 2004.

Dennis now sits on the organization’s board. While she is happy and vibrant today, after her long and difficult recovery, Dennis still struggles with ongoing deficits, such as trouble concentrating, poor short-term memory and difficulty finding the words she wants to say.

via Surviving Encephalitis – ABC News.


Malaria cases hit ten-year high as UK travellers venture to more exotic countries | Mail Online

Dr Ron Behrens, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: ‘Although the actual number of people being treated for malaria has increased, the risk of catching has fallen five-fold over the past 10 years .

‘This is because there has been a significant rise in the number of people travelling to places, such as West Africa, India and Pakistan, where malaria can be contracted and the malaria cases have stayed roughly the same.

‘There are now a lot more UK residents going on trips to tropical places with a risk of malaria.’

An analysis of cases found that 75 per cent of cases were UK resident travelling abroad to visit a friend or relative, another ten per cent are foreigners travelling to the UK who go down with the illness in this country and the remainder include UK residents who may contract malaria while on holiday.

Dr Behrens said that effective eradication programmes in malaria-infected countries had contributed to the lower infection rates for UK nationals when they travelled abroad, and he added that every £1 spent on anti-malarial drugs saves the NHS £5 in having to treat victims of the illness.

via Malaria cases hit ten-year high as UK travellers venture to more exotic countries | Mail Online.

UBC researcher invents ‘lab on a chip’ device to study malaria | Science Codex

Measuring 2″ x 1″ (50 cm x 25 cm), Ma’s microfluidic device deforms single red blood cells through a series of funnel-shaped constrictions. The pressure required to push the cell through each constriction is measured and then used to calculate the cell’s deformability.

By measuring the deformability of an infected red blood cell, researchers can obtain vital information about the status of the disease and response to treatment, explains Ma, whose findings appear in the current issue of the journal Lab on a Chip.

Ma notes that although there has been considerable research on the biomechanics of malaria, “current methods to measure red cell deformability are either too complex to be used in clinical settings or are not sensitive enough.”

via UBC researcher invents ‘lab on a chip’ device to study malaria | Science Codex.

Osteoporosis drug may help fight malaria | Vaccine News Daily

According to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois, a chemically modified drug used to fight osteoporosis may be helpful in the battle against malaria.

The researchers screened a library of approximately 1,000 compounds that were used in prior efforts to target a biochemical pathway called isoprenoid biosynthesis. The BPH-703 drug crosses readily into the red blood cells of malaria-infected mice, killing the malaria parasite even at low concentrations, Science Daily reports.

via Osteoporosis drug may help fight malaria | Vaccine News Daily.

Malaria cases on the rise in troops in Afghanistan | Vaccine News Daily

In 2011, there were 124 cases among American troops, 91 of which were diagnosed in Afghanistan. The number of cases in Afghanistan was much higher than the number acquired in tropical regions of Haiti and Africa, where U.S. troops have been providing assistance, Marine Corps Times reports.

via Malaria cases on the rise in troops in Afghanistan | Vaccine News Daily.

Slamming the brakes on the malaria life cycle | Science Codex

The new study provides the first description of the role of CDC20 in Plasmodium cell division and in the development of the malaria parasite’s male sex cells (microgametes), which are essential for parasite transmission between humans and the mosquito carrier. The scientists have discovered that the absence of this gene stops the male sex cell from bursting out of its host cell and fertilising a female cell as they are arrested in their cell division.

The sexual stage of the malaria parasite’s life-cycle occurs within the mosquito after it has fed on malaria-infected blood. This activates the parasite’s sexual phase and during this period, the male sex cell precursor (microgametocyte) rapidly replicates it DNA and produces 8 male sex cells (gametes). These gametes then burst out of the microgametocyte in a process called exflagellation and seek out a female sex cell to fertilise. By blocking the process of exflagellation, the team have identified a way of slamming the brakes on malaria transmission.

The team of researchers were from the Centre of Genetics and Genomics at The University of Nottingham, the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, Leiden University, the University of Leicester and the MRC National Institute for Medical Research funded by the MRC, Wellcome Trust, and EviMalar.

The group at Nottingham has previously uncovered other major players in the life cycle of the malaria parasite. More details on these can be found in earlier media releases ‘Stopping the spread of malaria’ and ‘Malaria research begins to bite’.

via Slamming the brakes on the malaria life cycle | Science Codex. Africa: Peace Corps Volunteers Build Malaria Prevention Team

Peace Corps volunteers from Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gambia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Togo, Uganda and Zambia participated in the Boot Camp, and will soon return to their countries of service to lead malaria-prevention efforts. The training is designed to develop a team of Peace Corps volunteers to serve as liaisons with partners and local organizations and build a network of malaria-prevention professionals.

Boot Camp training sessions were held with local community members and via Skype with experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USAID, the international health organization PATH, the University of South Florida, Family Health International and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs.

Participants discussed malaria science, behavior change communications, HIV/AIDS and malaria co-infection, bed-net distribution, and international malaria policy and control.

via Africa: Peace Corps Volunteers Build Malaria Prevention Team.