Plasma tau as a biomarker for neurocognitive impairment in children with cerebral malaria

Takeaway

  • Increased expression of plasma total tau in children with cerebral malaria (CM) or severe malarial anemia (SMA) was associated with higher disease severity, mortality, and persistent neurological deficits.

Why this matters

  • Injury to neuronal axons can occur in CM or SMA and is associated with risk of permanent neurocognitive impairment.

  • Using plasma tau, a biomarker of axonal injury, to identify patients at risk of future long-term neurocognitive impairment could allow earlier intervention to prevent or reduce symptoms.