The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Exposure to meningitis in the early life is associated with neurocognitive, educational, and psychological difficulties during childhood and adolescence among survivors who are apparently healthy. Therefore, focusing only on serious neurologic disabilities may underestimate the true impact of early life meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is a severe infectious disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The inflammatory reaction to the disease contributes to neuronal injury and involves the meninges, the subarachnoid space and the brain parenchymal vessels. Bacterial pathogens may reach the blood-brain barrier and be recognized by antigen-presenting cells through the binding of Toll-like receptors, triggering an inflammatory cascade. This in turn produces cytokines and chemokines, increases adhesion molecule expression and attracts leukocytes from the blood. This cascade leads to lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial damage and blood-brain barrier permeability. In spite of effective antibacterial treatments, approximately one third of survivors suffer from long-term sequelae, such as hearing loss, cerebral palsy, seizures, hydrocephaly or cognitive impairment. Experimental rodent models had been showed several of new possible adjuvant treatments with neuro-properties: antioxidants, non-bacteriolytic antibiotics, inhibition of pattern recognition receptors, cytokines, leukocyte recruitment, caspases, metalloproteinase of matrix, and tryptophan pathway.
Key-words: neuroinfection, host immune response, memory impairment, behavioral changes.
- Meningitis survivor rat brain imaging by Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
- Meningitis during early life could trigger depressive-like behavior and changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during adult life.
- Association between experimental childhood meningitis and risk of schizophrenia in adulthood.
- Sepsis survivor rat brain imaging by Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
Education & Training
Ph.D. - Federal University of Rio Grade do Sul - 2007