The Effect of Plasmodium Falciparum on a Child's Brain

The Effect of Plasmodium Falciparum on a Child’s Brain

 

Charles Newton, of the Centre for Geographical Medicine, Kenya Medical Research institute, Kilifi, Kenya and the Institute of Child Health, University College London, U.K., discussed the effect of Faliciparum malaria on children’s brains. He described the incidence of the disease, the pathology of the brain, its immediate neurological manifestations and the long-term disability following both cerebral malaria and malaria without overt neurologic manifestations.

 

This is an enormous problem in Africa, involving thousands of children annually, and it is clearly a major cause of handicapping disorders.

 

Dr. Newton began by describing the incidence of the disease (Figure 5.1), its appearance in the brain (Figure 5.2), and both its initial neurologic manifestations (Figures 5.3, 5.45.5) and its severe manifestations during the illness (Figures 5.6, 5.7,  5.8). He then pointed out the number of children who are at risk of developmental disability and reviewed a series of studies which demonstrated that recovery from Falciparum malaria is frequently followed by severe development impairment (Figures 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, 5.12, 5.13, 5.14, 5.15, 5.16, 5.17, 5.18, 5.19).

 

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In Figure 5.20 he summarized his presentation and then emphasized the need for further research (Figure 5.21).

 

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