Each year worldwide approximately 400 000 people die from cerebral malaria, a disease caused by a blood parasite that is found in some species of mouse. The symptoms of malaria such as fever, headache and vomiting, appear between 9 and 14 days after the bite of infected mosquito. If there is no evidence of drugs or are drug-resistant parasites, the infection can lead to coma, to a very severe anemia, and death.
Some experiments conducted by the Center for Medical Parasitology, University of Copenhagen have apparently shown that EPO, a doping agent, can reduce mortality from cerebral malaria, significantly.
Doctors have conducted experiments on mice with cerebral malaria obtaining an optimal result of 100%.
Of course, mice are very different from humans, so this discovery can only be seen as a first approach to the treatment strategy to follow.
Professor Jorgen Kurtzhals, who directs the research underlined and highlighted that this discovery is not just to declare that the EPO is the drug against cerebral malaria, especially because the results obtained in mice, is used mostly for ensure that the hope of defeating the disease is more than a hope. With this discovery, we have the basis for some to say that somewhere there is a way to find the appropriate treatment.
According to the experiments, the EPO does not remove the parasite, but protects the brain. The research team is now working to understand precisely what is the mechanism of EPO to protect brain cells.
It seems that increases the number of red blood cells and their hemoglobin content (some cyclists use it because this increase, it also stimulates the increase of oxygen that can be transported to body tissues and cells with greater efficiency of each breath).
The Epo but also increases the levels of hemoglobin and other cells that may help protect brain cells from malaria.
At first glance this finding may cause some dismay and terror.
To think that doping of an excipient can serve as a cure, may fear. But if you think about, many of the drugs now in common use, have the percentages of substances that commonly belong to the category drugs such as tranquilizers and anti-pain medications containing morphine, codeine or methadone, sedatives, sleeping pills, stimulants. Medicines that these are of course taken under medical supervision, because of their possible side effects, but which are also prescribed and made no major problems.
Rather than worry or terror, we must try to get a view that using certain substances in science and medicine, is not and should not be a problem, but when you are taking medicines that contain them, we must do so if truly and strictly necessary to cure or prevent the worst cases.