Persistent cognitive and motor deficits after successful antimalarial treatment in murine cerebral malaria

Minxian Dai, Sandra E. Reznik, David C. Spray, Louis M. Weiss, Herbert B. Tanowitz, Maria Gulinello, Mahalia S. Desruisseaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Human cerebral malaria causes neurological and behavioral deficits which persist long after resolution of infection and clearance of parasites with antimalarial drugs. Previously, we demonstrated that during active infection, mice with cerebral malaria demonstrated negative behavioral outcomes. Here we used a chloroquine treatment model of cerebral malaria to determine whether these abnormal outcomes would be persistent in the mouse model. C57BL/6 mice were infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA, and treated for ten days. After cessation of chloroquine, a comprehensive assessment of cognitive and motor function demonstrated persistence of abnormal behavioral outcomes, 10 days after successful eradication of parasites. Furthermore, these deficits were still evident forty days after cessation of chloroquine, indicating persistence long after successful treatment, a hallmark feature of human cerebral malaria. Thus, cognitive tests similar to those used in these mouse studies could facilitate the development of adjunctive therapies that can ameliorate adverse neurological outcomes in human cerebral malaria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1198-1207
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number14-15
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Brain pathology
  • Chloroquine treatment
  • Motor coordination
  • Object recognition
  • Plasmodium berghei ANKA
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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