Reversal of the sleep/wake cycle disorder of sleeping sickness after trypanosomicide treatment.
To determine whether the circadian disruption of the sleep/wake cycle observed in sleeping sickness, human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), can be reversed after trypanosomicide treatment, 10 Congolese patients infected by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense underwent 24-h polysomnographic recordings before treatment with melarsoprol and after each of three weekly treatment sessions. Polysomnography consisted of a continuous recording of the electroencephalogram, electromyogram and electro-oculogram on a Minidix Alvar polygraph. Sleep traces were analysed in 20-sec epochs for wakefulness, REM sleep, and NREM sleep [stages 1, 2, 3, 4; stages 3 and 4 representing slow-wave sleep (SWS)]. As previously described (Buguet et al. 1993), the 24-h distribution of the sleep/wake cycle was disturbed proportionally to the severity of the illness. The overall amounts of each sleep/wake stage did not change after treatment. However, the patterns of occurrence of sleep episodes, REM sleep and SWS phases were determinant in the evaluation of treatment efficacy. The trypanosomicide action of melarsoprol led to a reduction in the number of sleep episodes, except in one patient whose health condition worsened during the third treatment session: sleep onset REM sleep phases (SOREMPs) decreased and the number of SWS episodes during a sleep episode increased. We conclude that in HAT, the reversibility of the sleep/wake cycle alteration and that of sleep structure constitute the basis for an evaluation of the healing process. (+info)
Dry supplementary feeding programmes: an effective short-term strategy in food crisis situations.
Malnutrition is frequently a predominant problem in disasters, and supplementary feeding programmes (SFPs) are often set up in food emergencies. This review analyses the effectiveness of such programmes in crisis situations in Liberia, Burundi and Goma (Congo), concluding that it is feasible to enrol large numbers of children in SFPs and achieve proportions of recovery above 75% if these programmes are implemented as a short-term measure in emergency situations. However, satisfactory SFP results do not necessarily indicate improved nutritional status of the whole population. (+info)
Deterioration in the nutritional status of young children and their mothers in Brazzaville, Congo, following the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc.
The effects of the January 1994 devaluation of the African Financial Community (CFA) franc on the nutritional situation of the populations concerned has been little documented. We report in this article on two nutritional cross-sectional surveys that were conducted before and after this devaluation (1993 and 1996) in two districts of Brazzaville, Congo. The surveys involved a representative sample of 4206 households with a child aged 4-23 months. Complementary feeding practices and the anthropometric indices of the children and their mothers were compared, adjusting for changes in household socioeconomic characteristics. The results show a decline in the quality of the first complementary foods offered to the infants, i.e. less frequent use of special transitional foods and imported complementary flours (of higher nutritional quality), and preparation of less nutritious local gruels. Overall, the nutritional situation had deteriorated, with greater levels of stunting and wasting among children, mothers with lower body mass index, and infants with reduced birth weights. Increased food prices would appear to be the direct cause of the decreased quality in complementary feeding, but factors other than the devaluation have also had an impact on household welfare. The influence of these factors on nutritional-status is discussed. (+info)
Body composition unaltered for African women classified as 'normal but vulnerable' by body mass index and mid-upper-arm-circumference criteria.
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that 'normal but vulnerable' adults, as defined by body mass index (BMI) in combination with mid-upper-arm-circumference (MUAC), are closer to normal than to malnourished ones. For that purpose body composition measurements were compared between normal and low BMI categories and according to MUAC value in an African context and for different age groups. DESIGN: Reanalysis of data from a previous cross-sectional cluster sample nutrition survey. SETTING: A rural area of the Republic of Congo, Central Africa. SUBJECTS: A representative sample (n=544) of non-pregnant women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Arm muscle area was calculated from measurements of triceps skinfold thickness and MUAC. Peripheral body fat was assessed by the sum of four skinfold thicknesses. The ratio of resistance at high and low frequencies was derived from whole body measurement of multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis and used as the extracellular to total body water ratio index. RESULTS: The prevalence of thinness decreased from 18.7% as defined by BMI alone to 9.0% as defined by BMI and MUAC. This difference was due to the group of subjects classified as 'normal but vulnerable' (9.7%). Prevalence of thinness increased with age when assessed by BMI alone, but no longer when assessed by BMI and MUAC. Comparison with the BMI> or =18.5 kg/m(2) category showed that in 'normal but vulnerable' subjects lower BMI was accompanied by lower both fat and lean compartments, in absolute values, but the equilibrium of body water compartments was not altered. In BMI<18.5 women, low MUAC was associated with altered lean tissues, at peripheral and whole body level, whereas fat tissue did not differ. CONCLUSIONS: 'Normal but vulnerable' subjects appeared as 'thin but healthy' rather than malnourished, at all ages, even though their BMI was lower than 18.5 kg/m(2). The new classification of thinness based on BMI and MUAC provides a more specific index of nutritional status when restricting the thin category to more at-risk subjects. (+info)
Decreased attendance at routine health activities mediates deterioration in nutritional status of young African children under worsening socioeconomic conditions.
BACKGROUND: Economic crisis and sociopolitical instability are generally associated with worsening health and nutrition in developing countries. This study examines the role played by the attendance rate of young children at routine health activities in the deterioration of their nutritional status under adverse social and economic conditions. METHODS: Two nutritional cross-sectional surveys were carried out in two districts of Brazzaville, capital city of The Congo, in 1993 and 1996. They included respectively 2807 and 1695 randomly selected children 4--23 months old. The children's nutritional status was assessed by height-for-age in z-scores. Using embedded general linear regression models, explanatory variables (routine health activities index, socio-demographic context, household economic level, prenatal factors) were tested as potential mediators for the effect of the year of survey on child mean height-for-age. RESULTS: The routine health activities index declined sharply from 1993 to 1996. Its introduction in the regression model including all other explanatory variables led to a sharp decrease in the effect of the year on children's nutritional status, showing the important mediating effect of routine health activities. This result was encountered across all economic categories of households. Other explanatory variables showed more limited mediating effect. CONCLUSIONS: Attendance at preventive health activities should be fostered in African urban communities facing harsh socioeconomic situations to prevent further deterioration in the nutritional status of children. (+info)
Congenital malaria as a result of Plasmodium malariae--North Carolina, 2000.
Congenitally acquired malaria is rare in the United States; < or = 10 cases are reported each year. Congenital infection with Plasmodium malariae is particularly uncommon because distribution of this parasite is focal and sparse in areas where P. falciparum is endemic. The last case of congenital P. malariae infection in the United States was reported in 1992. This report describes the investigation of a case of P. malariae in an infant with no travel history outside of the United States and suggests that health-care providers suspect malaria when treating a neonate or young infant with fever if the mother has traveled or lived in a malarious area. (+info)
Effect of axial load on the cervical spine: a study of Congolese woodbearers.
We studied the cervical spine radiographically of 72 women between 24 and 78 years of age who had carried wood on their head for a mean of 12 (5-41) years and compared the findings with those of 44 women between 21 and 80 years of age who served as controls. The height of the intervertebral discs and the vertebral bodies was statistically lower among woodbearers. Osteophytes were seen infrequently in pre-menopausal women in the study group, and their presence related to age ( P<0.01), short stature ( P<0.01), and the number of years working as a woodbearer ( P<0.05). The medullary canal was narrow in almost half of the post-menopausal woodbearers and narrower in those with degenerative changes ( P<0.01). Listhesis also was more frequent among woodbearers. (+info)
Combination of eflornithine and melarsoprol for melarsoprol-resistant Gambian trypanosomiasis.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a combination of eflornithine and melarsoprol among relapsing cases of Gambian trypanosomiasis. METHODS: Forty-two late-stage Trypanosoma brucei gambiense trypanosomiasis patients relapsing after initial treatment with melarsoprol were treated with a sequential combination of intravenous eflornithine (100 mg/kg every 6 h for 4 days) followed by three daily injections of melarsoprol (3.6 mg/kg, up to 180 mg). They were then followed-up for 24 months. RESULTS: Two (4.8%) patients died during treatment. Of the 40 surviving patients, two had a treatment failure, 13 and 19 months after having received the combination therapy. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, the 2-year probability of cure was 93.3% (95% confidence interval: 84.3-100%). CONCLUSION: This sequential combination has an efficacy and a toxicity similar to a 7-day course of eflornithine monotherapy, but is easier to administer. Whether such therapeutic success corresponds tosynergism between eflornithine and melarsoprol, or merely means that 4 days of eflornithine monotherapy suffices for such patients, will need to be determined in a comparative trial. (+info)