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A team jointly led by Indian scientists discovers how malaria affects the brain-science


Using brain imaging technology, scientists, including scientists at the Complex Malaria Research Center in Orissa, have unraveled a 100-year-old mystery about how malaria affects the brain. This is an advance that reveals how fatal illnesses have different consequences for adults and children.

According to researchers, cerebral malaria is a serious and life-threatening complication of infection with Plasmodium falciparum, which can be bitten by Anopheles mosquitoes and infect humans. One-fifth of this form of illness dies despite treatment, and while neurocognitive sequelae are common in survivors, the effects of malaria on the brain have puzzled scientists for the past 100 years. Said.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, used state-of-the-art MRI scans to compare changes in the brains of survivors with people who died of diseases of different ages.

“For years, scientists have relied on autopsy to understand the pathology of cerebral malaria, but these cannot compare survivors to deaths,” said the co-leader of the London School of Economics study. The author, Samwasmer, said. British Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

“By using neuroimaging technology to take snapshots of living brains, we were able to identify a specific cause of death in adults,” said Wasner. In this study, scientists evaluated 65 patients with cerebral malaria and 26 control patients with “uncomplicated” malaria who were being treated at the Ispat General Hospital in Rourkela.

They found that cerebral edema tends to decrease with age of the patient, and unlike children, there is no correlation between cerebral edema and death in adult patients in the same cohort.

Instead, the researchers said that fatal adult cases had severe oxygen deficiency affecting all brain structures compared to only local oxygen deficiency in survivors. They said the findings were supported by a marked increase in the levels of certain molecules in the blood that indicate oxygen deficiency.

Based on the results, researchers believe that they can develop a system to identify patients at risk of developing a fatal disease on admission and inform clinical management.

“The results suggest an intriguing prospect for targeted treatments for cerebral malaria, and we are currently planning clinical trials to test whether adjuvant oxygen deficiency therapy is effective in adults,” he said. Sanjib Mohanty, co-leader of the research center, said. Of complex malaria.

“If successful, this could be an important step towards reducing deaths, one of the most deadly diseases in the world,” he added.


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