Navigation Links
MSU launches groundbreaking drug trial in Africa
Date:2/15/2013

Determined to bring relief to seizure victims, a Michigan State University research team this month begins a groundbreaking clinical drug trial that could help prevent a quarter-million African children from developing epilepsy each year.

It will be the first test of the anti-seizure medication levetiracetam, or LVT, for controlling seizures caused by cerebral malaria, a severe form of the disease that affects brain function in some three million children, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

About one in 10 children who survive cerebral malaria are left with epileptic seizures, said the trial's lead researcher Gretchen Birbeck, a professor of neurology and ophthalmology in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"This trial is aimed at improving seizure control with the hope of finding a path toward epilepsy prevention," Birbeck said. "Since oral LVT is relatively affordable for short-term use and feasibly could be delivered in resource-limited settings, this therapy could potentially be scaled up for broad use throughout malaria endemic African countries."

The trial will include about 40 children in Malawi. If all safety standards are met, dosage will be increased until 75 percent of the children are free of seizures for 24 hours.

A wireless EEG monitoring device the size of a deck of cards will tell the researchers if LVT is keeping the children seizure-free. Developed by New York-based biotechnology firm BioSignal Group, the device can be worn on the child's arm and transfers data in real-time to a computer, where it quickly can be analyzed and shared with colleagues.

"Unfortunately, many children with cerebral malaria continue to have seizures with no clinical evidence that seizures are occurring, but their brains still are being affected," said Birbeck, who also is director of MSU's International Neurologic and Psychiatric Epidemiology Program. "To evaluate the effectiveness of LVT, we need continuous EEG monitoring, which is very tough to do even in the best environment."

If the study finds a safe and effective dosage of LVT for cerebral malaria seizures, the team will scale it up and put the drug to the test in a randomized trial without the specialized technology.

The trial, 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.

It's part of a broader effort by Birbeck to, as she says, "bring epilepsy out of the shadows." The disease keeps many of its victims from holding a job or going to school, and the stigma associated with seizures prevent many of them from getting the treatment they need.

Birbeck is working in Malawi and Zambia to educate people about the disease so they aren't afraid to seek treatment. With her help, more and more patients are getting help and living productive lives.

Her ultimate goal is to find a way to keep people from getting epilepsy in the first place.

"The best legacy would be when they didn't need epilepsy treatment," she said. "That would be the nicest of all."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy McGlashen
andy.mcglashen@cabs.msu.edu
517-355-5158
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NTU launches new centre to develop new eye-deas for occular therapeutics
2. Elsevier launches new open access journal: Molecular Metabolism
3. Canada launches first gene therapy trial for Fabry disease
4. Elsevier launches new journal: Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources
5. F1000Research, the first Open Science publisher, launches following a successful beta testing phase
6. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Launches Wake Forest Innovations
7. Neurotechnology Launches SkyBiometry Spin-off Company to Deliver SaaS Biometric Identification and Feature Analysis
8. Elsevier launches new open access journal -- Case Studies in Engineering Failure Analysis
9. Gene sequencing project identifies abnormal gene that launches rare childhood leukemia
10. Smithsonian launches global marine biodiversity project with $10 million donation
11. Rice launches sweeping Energy and Environment Initiative
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape Analysis ... Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... and the continuing migration crisis in the Middle ... led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is crucial ... & security companies in the border security market and the ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 ... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> - Renvoi : ... - --> --> ... solutions biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales ... LF10 de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire des ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... March 9, 2016 This BCC Research report ... of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for the ... instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and services. ... of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools and ... main factors affecting each segment and forecast their market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Summit for ... to support the development of a patient-specific stem cell therapy for the treatment of ... lab of Dr. Jeanne Loring at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... April 29, 2016 Elekta is ... update to its industry-leading treatment planning software, is available ... Monaco version 5.11 provides significant performance ... calculation speeds up to four times faster than in ... the industry,s gold standard Monte Carlo ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... NEW YORK , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biotechnology acceleration company reports the Company,s CEO  was ... capital titled Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To ... Life Science Leader magazine is an ... work for everything from emerging biotechs to Big ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Next week on May ... its first-in-class technologies for tissue stem cell counting and expansion to gene-editing scientists ... Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering in Burlington, Massachusetts. , The attention of most ...
Breaking Biology Technology: