Drug could reverse scourge of cerebral malaria for survivorsPosted: May 1, 2012
The research, part of MSU’s Blantyre Malaria Project at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, is being funded with a nearly $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Cerebral malaria is a severe form of malaria affecting the brain, occurring predominantly in children, with a mortality rate of 15-25 percent. It affects about three million children every year, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.
Almost a third of cerebral malaria survivors develop epilepsy or other neurologic disorders, according to research Birbeck – also director of MSU’s International Neurologic & Psychiatric Epidemiology Program – published previously in The Lancet Neurology.
The new clinical trial will test the safety and feasibility of LVT to control seizures in children specifically with cerebral malaria. Instead of delivering the drug intravenously, which is too costly for most developing nations such as Malawi, it will be given via a tube in the nasal passage, an effective method in hospitals and clinics that lack resources.