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Researchers Testing Nitric Oxide As Treatment For Cerebral Malaria In Uganda

GlobalPost’s “Pulse” blog examines how physicians in Uganda are using nitric oxide gas as an experimental treatment for cerebral malaria, “a severe form of the disease in which malaria parasites clog the blood vessels of the brain.” In Mbarara, Uganda, researchers from Epicentre, the research arm of Médecins Sans Frontières, “are having children with cerebral malaria inhale a gas, nitric oxide, … [which] is thought to dilate blood vessels and reduce inflammation in the brain,” the blog writes, adding, “The goal, according to a 2012 article by the Epicentre team, is ‘buying time’ for medicines to kill the malaria parasites while protecting children’s brains from the parasites’ devastating effects.” The blog notes “[a]nother team in Jinja, Uganda, affiliated with the University of Toronto and Uganda’s Makarere University, is conducting similar trials” (Chavkin, 8/6).