If the study finds a safe and effective dosage of LVT for cerebral malaria seizures, the team will scale it up and put the drug to the test in a randomized trial without the specialized technology.
The trial, part of MSU's Blantyre Malaria Project at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, is being funded with a nearly $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
It's part of a broader effort by Birbeck to, as she says, "bring epilepsy out of the shadows." The disease keeps many of its victims from holding a job or going to school, and the stigma associated with seizures prevent many of them from getting the treatment they need.
Birbeck is working in Malawi and Zambia to educate people about the disease so they aren't afraid to seek treatment. With her help, more and more patients are getting help and living productive lives.
Her ultimate goal is to find a way to keep people from getting epilepsy in the first place.
"The best legacy would be when they didn't need epilepsy treatment," she said. "That would be the nicest of all."
|Contact: Andy McGlashen|
Michigan State University