Repurposed Drug Battles ‘Brain-Eating’ Amoeba

February 3, 2023

(Science) – In the summer of 2021, a 54-year-old man was brought to a hospital in Northern California after an unexplained seizure. When an MRI revealed a mysterious mass in the left side of his brain, he was transferred to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Medical Center. A brain biopsy and other tests revealed not a tumor, but an incredibly rare infection of the central nervous system caused by the amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris. One of several “brain-eating” amoebae that occasionally spark headlines, the pathogen kills more than 90% of people who contract it. But despite initial setbacks, the patient survived and has largely recovered after experimental treatment with a decades-old drug. (Read More)