Complex membrane channel blockade: A unifying hypothesis for the prodromal and acute neuropsychiatric sequelae resulting from exposure to the antimalarial drug Mefloquine

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Abstract

The alkaloid toxin quinine and its derivative compounds have been used for many centuries as effective medications for the prevention and treatment of malaria. More recently, synthetic derivatives, such as the quinoline derivative mefloquine (bis(trifluoromethyl)-(2-piperidyl)-4-quinolinemethanol), have been widely used to combat disease caused by chloroquine-resistant strains of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. However, the parent compound quinine, as well as its more recent counterparts, suffers from an incidence of adverse neuropsychiatric side effects ranging from mild mood disturbances and anxiety to hallucinations, seizures, and psychosis. This review considers how the pharmacology, cellular neurobiology, and membrane channel kinetics of mefloquine could lead to the significant and sometimes life-threatening neurotoxicity associated with mefloquine exposure. A key role for mefloquine blockade of ATP-sensitive potassium channels and connexins in the substantia nigra is considered as a unifying hypothesis for the pathogenesis of severe neuropsychiatric events after mefloquine exposure in humans.
Original languageEnglish
Article number368064
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Parasitology Research
Volume2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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