Cerebral malaria and epilepsy

Authors

  • Edgard Brice Ngoungou,

    1. Institute of Neuroepidemiology and Tropical Neurology (EA 3174), Faculty of Medicine, Limoges, France
    2. Department of Parasitology-Mycology and Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Health Sciences, Libreville, Gabon
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  • Pierre-Marie Preux

    1. Institute of Neuroepidemiology and Tropical Neurology (EA 3174), Faculty of Medicine, Limoges, France
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Address correspondence to Edgard Brice Ngoungou, Department of Parasitology-Mycology and Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Health Sciences, BP 4009 Libreville, Gabon. E-mail: ngoungou2001@yahoo.fr

Summary

Malaria, one of the most common parasitic diseases worldwide, is responsible for more than one million deaths among African children every year. Its neurological form, known as cerebral malaria (CM) is a potential cause of epilepsy in malaria-endemic regions of the world, primarily made up for the most part by the sub-Saharan Africa. Herein, we review recent African studies that examine the association between CM and epilepsy. Three studies suggest a modestly strong association between CM and epilepsy. Furthermore, there appears little doubt that this association is causal. Speculative considerations that may explain this causal association are discussed in this review. Additional research is however required in order to determine the clinical and electrographic behavior, the underlying structural and molecular basis, and course and outcome of this condition.

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