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What is cerebral malaria?

Cerebral malaria (CM), a severe complication of malaria, is a neurological syndrome characterised by seizures and coma. It is mainly observed in young children and adults residing in malaria-prone areas.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

CM can develop in less than 2 weeks after a mosquito bite and beyond 2 to 7 days of fever. It is characterised by abnormal behaviour,impaired consciousness, epileptic fits, coma and other neurological symptoms. It is found that 6 out of 14 children show increased cerebral volume. CM can also cause defects in movements, speech difficulties, deafness and blindness in children. Signs and symptoms include:

Neurological features are often associated with severe metabolic acidosis (too much acid in body fluids), low haemoglobin and reduced sugar level.

What are its main causes?

It spreads through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. There are four species of Plasmodium responsible for the infection, out of which P. falciparum is the most severe infection. CM occurs due to blockage of the small capillaries of the brain by infected blood cells, resulting in swelling of the brain and eventually brain damage. The blood-brain barrier (BBB), which protects the brain from foreign substances, gets ruptured and fibrinogen leakage is observed. This can result in coma. Other reasons for neurological complications may include:

  • High-grade fever
  • Anti-malarial medicines
  • Reduced sugar levels
  • Reduced sodium levels
  • Extremely low haemoglobin levels

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Doctors take a medical history including any recent travel history to malaria-prone areas and do a physical examination. Imaging may be done to find ischaemia-involved areas.

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: It may appear normal, but some features can be seen, such as
  1. Cerebral oedema
  2. Thalamic hypoattenuation due to infarcts
  3. Cerebellar white matter hypoattenuation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Useful to understand the key presentations associated with disease progression.
  • Lumbar puncture: To exclude other causes of febrile syndromes with altered level of consciousness.

CM is a serious complication and requires immediate medical attention. Treatment mainly includes:

  • Anti-malarial drugs – monotherapy or combination therapy to avoid resistance.
  • Agents to correct electrolyte imbalance.
  • Symptomatic use of anti-epileptic drugs.
  • Steroid derivatives.
  • Correcting other neurological complications.
  • Oxygen therapy may help in case of respiratory distress.

Self-care tips include:

  • Early identification of symptoms can help break the infection cycle.
  • Avoid unnecessary use of fever medications if it does not help in reducing prolonged fever.
  • Keep your surroundings clean and eliminate mosquito breeding sources.

Proper treatment and care can help in minimising brain damage and the complications of malaria.

  1. Medicines for Cerebral Malaria

Medicines for Cerebral Malaria

Medicines listed below are available for Cerebral Malaria. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
CinkonaCinkona 100 Mg Tablet31.0
FalciquinFalciquin 300 Mg Injection10.0
Dabur Juri TapJuri Tap Liquid38.0
QinarsolQinarsol 300 Mg Injection21.0
QinetQinet 100 Mg Tablet21.0
QsmQsm 150 Mg Injection19.0
QstQst 100 Mg Tablet27.0
Qst EcQst Ec 100 Mg Tablet28.0
QueenolarQueenolar 150 Mg Tablet37.0
Rez QRez Q 100 Mg Suspension77.0
AnafilAnafil 300 Mg Tablet53.0
BactiquinBactiquin 100 Mg Tablet33.0
ClearquinClearquin Tablet70.0
Cor QsCor Qs 300 Mg Tablet62.0
Etfom QEtfom Q 300 Mg Tablet64.0
Fal QFal Q 300 Mg Suspension60.0
Fal Q EcFal Q Ec 300 Mg Tablet65.0
KnineKnine 200 Mg Tablet30.0
KwinilKwinil 300 Mg Injection17.0
NineNine 300 Mg Suspension46.0
PbquinPbquin 100 Mg Tablet55.0
QQ 100 Mg Suspension58.0
Q9Q9 300 Mg Suspension205.0
Q CureQ Cure Tablet65.0
Q Mal (Themis Medicare)Q Mal 600 Mg Tablet86.0
Q NineQ Nine 300 Mg Tablet65.0
Q TabQ Tab 300 Mg Tablet56.0
QueceeQuecee 300 Mg Tablet60.0
QuinberQuinber 300 Mg Tablet55.0
Quininga (Inga Lab)Quininga 100 Mg Tablet57.0
QuiningaQuininga 300 Mg Tablet53.0
QuinogoldQuinogold 300 Mg Tablet62.0
QuinolodQuinolod 300 Mg Injection14.0
QuinomacQuinomac 100 Mg Suspension44.0
Quin O QuinQuin O Quin 300 Mg Tablet61.0
Quinoquin EcQuinoquin Ec 300 Mg Tablet59.0
Quinoquin P EcQuinoquin P Ec Tablet30.0
Quinoquin PQuinoquin P Tablet30.0
QuinsulQuinsul 300 Mg Tablet38.0
QutisQutis 150 Mg Suspension53.0
QutomalQutomal 300 Mg Injection17.0
QutroyQutroy 300 Mg Injection18.0
SafequinSafequin 300 Mg Tablet65.0
SulfaquinSulfaquin 100 Mg Tablet53.0
Tq NinTq Nin 100 Mg Suspension54.0
Uniquin EcUniquin Ec 300 Mg Tablet75.0
ZequinZequin 300 Mg Tablet396.0
Arm QArm Q Injection28.0
MosgardMosgard 300 Mg Tablet59.0
Q MalQ Mal 300 Mg Tablet64.0
Q SQ S 300 Mg Tablet50.0
QuinaxQuinax 300 Mg Tablet699.0
QuinonirQuinonir Syrup29.0
QunimaxQunimax 300 Mg Tablet33.0
RadiantRadiant Syrup65.0
RubiquinRubiquin 300 Mg Tablet62.0
Rubiquin EcRubiquin Ec 450 Mg Tablet87.0
SulphaquinSulphaquin Suspension47.0
SwiquinSwiquin 300 Mg Tablet37.0
Rez Q DRez Q D 600 Mg/100 Mg Tablet223.36

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