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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 39-43

Implications of placental malaria on neurocognition

1 Department of Physiology, University of Nigeria, Enugu; Department of Physiology, Edo University, Iyamho, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
3 Department of Physiology, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Akhabue Kenneth Okojie
Department of Physiology, Edo University, Iyamho, Edo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njecp.njecp_3_18

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Malaria infection during pregnancy is associated with serious health consequences among mothers and offspring. There are over 125 million pregnant women in malaria endemic regions each year; yet, the impact of in utero malaria exposure on the neurological and cognitive development of their exposed infants is unknown. Recent evidence has shown that the complement system is involved in neurodevelopment in the normal physiological state. However, malaria infection results in the activation of the coagulation cascade and the production of thrombin, as well as increased leukocytes with bound serine proteases. Both thrombin and serine proteases are able to directly cleave C5 which leads to over activation of the complement system. The aim of this study is to identify gaps in knowledge of the implications of placental malaria on brain development and neurocognitive functions of offspring and to chart a course for gathering requisite knowledge to fill those gaps both through special studies and routine data-gathering exercises such as monitoring, surveillance, and evaluation.

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