Good news for management of severe malaria

Dr. Terrie Taylor is a medical professor at Michigan State University who spent years  studying malaria in Africa. In 2008 she managed to get a Magnetic resonance imaging machines (MRI’s) donated to her project in order to research the reactions going on in the brain of children suffering from severe malaria. access link here

Severe malaria is the kills 600,000 children under five every year worldwide, mostly in sub-saharan Africa. Taylor and her colleagues used the MRI on dozens of sick patients, and they noticed an unmistakable pattern: Children whose brains swelled dramatically and irreversibly died. Children whose brains did not swell – or swelled, but then returned to a normal size – lived.

This discovery is important because it might dramatically increase the chances for children to survive a severe malaria, by administrating drugs to reduce brain swelling. These drugs (corticosteroid) are in the WHO List of Essential Medicines for Children and are likely to be easily accessible in most health centers in Africa.

 

 

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