Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Cerebral Malaria
  1. N. J. White
  1. Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand and Centre for Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine; E-mail: nickw{at}


Malaria is the most important parasitic disease of man. It infects approximately 5% of the world’s population and kills somewhere between one and two million people each year. Of the four species of malaria parasites that infect humans, only Plasmodium falciparum is lethal. Cerebral involvement causing coma in severe falciparum malaria is a characteristic but ominous development carrying a 15–20% treated case fatality. Untreated it is considered uniformly fatal. Cerebral malaria is widely quoted as being the most common cause of coma in tropical areas of the world.


In some parts of the tropics malaria is acquired as many as two or three times every day and thus everyone in the community has malaria all the time. At the other end of the spectrum, there are many areas where the chances of acquiring malaria are relatively low. For example, along the western border of Thailand,

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Other content recommended for you