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Antioxidants may help prevent malaria complicaton that leads to learning impairment
Date:6/25/2010

from the blood. Combination therapy with antioxidants and a newer antimalarial called artesunate was similarly effective in treating cerebral malaria and preventing subsequent cognitive impairment in mice.

Both desferoxamine and N-acetylcysteine have been used to treat other medical conditions in humans and their side effects are already known. The study authors suggest that these antioxidant drugs should be studied as additive therapy for antimalarial drugs in clinical trials in order to investigate their potential to reduce or prevent cognitive damage after cerebral malaria.

"Our findings are exciting because the clinical implications may not be limited to cerebral malaria," says Zimmerman. "Oxidative stress is thought to be an important mechanism in brain injury in other types of severe infection and in chronic non-infectious conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidant treatment may be a successful therapeutic strategy for controlling long-lasting neurological consequences in these conditions, as well."


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Contact: Phil Sahm
phil.sahm@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-2517
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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