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New grant will allow U of M researchers to advance new diagnosis & treatment methods for meningitis

Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine have received a $3.2 million grant to examine new cost-effective approaches for diagnosing and treating meningitis. The University will partner with Uganda’s Makerere University on the effort.

In the first of two programs supported by the new grant, University of Minnesota researchers will employ a tiered approach to diagnosing meningitis, employing a strategic approach that eliminates a full battery of testing when a more limited panel of stepwise testing can confirm infection.  The project will also explore new diagnostic tests for meningitis due to tuberculosis (TB).

The grant will also support a new clinical trial to test the antifungal properties of sertraline (Zoloft), an antidepressant with possible anti-fungal properties in mouse models. Because Zoloft went off patent in 2006, the medication could present a cheaper alternative in the fight against cryptococcal meningitis.

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Health Talk Recommends: FDA’s counterfeit detection device takes global aim at malaria

Imagine a handheld device that would allow health experts to quickly and easily diagnose medication as counterfeit with a simple scan using waves of light.

It might sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has actually developed such a device and are starting to test its effectiveness in the field.

In a feature for the LA Times health blog Booster Shots, writer Melissa Healy profiles the device and explores how it would work.

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