Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Nodding Syndrome’ Category

Scientists may have solved the mystery of nodding syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that has disabled thousands of children in East Africa.


“…..Nodding syndrome is a unique seizure disorder affecting children in parts of East Africa. The cause of nodding syndrome has been an enigma, although an epidemiological association with the parasite Onchocerca volvulus has been established. Johnson et al. demonstrate that patients with nodding syndrome have autoantibodies to leiomodin-1 that are neurotoxic in vitro and that leiomodin-1 is expressed in regions of the brain affected during disease. Leiomodin-1 antibodies cross-react with O. volvulus proteins, linking the parasite to the autoantibody. Thus, nodding syndrome may be an autoimmune epilepsy initiated by a parasitic infection and may be preventable by treatment with antiparasitic strategies such as the drug ivermectin…..”





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