The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

AIDS-Related CancersAIDS-Related Cancers
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Can PML cause personality change?
Mar 13, 2002

My partner is in the hospital with questionable PML. Is personality change common with this infection only or are there other AIDS related infections that would cause this? He also has lost use of his entire left side. MRI suggests PML but does not rule out Lymphoma or Toxoplasmosis. Should we have a biopsy?

Response from Dr. Dezube

PML stands for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. It's a condition caused by a virus (called the JC virus). PML attacks the cells of the brain causing them not to function. Both personality change and left sided (or right sided) weakness can occur in patients with PML. The best treatment for PML in HIV-infected patients is to treat the underlying HIV infection with potent anti-HIV drugs. Although brain biopsy is the single best way to make the diagnosis, often a presumptive diagnosis can be made by the MRI scan. Lastly, many centers, particularly the teaching hospitals, can test the spinal fluid for the JC virus. If the MRI scan looks like PML and if the spinal fluid is positive for the JC virus, then a brain biopsy is not necessary. However, many centers don't offer the JC virus test on the spinal fluid. I wish your partner luck.

Dear Doc - Please! - What Is Going On?
Anogenital warts and smoking; is there a connection?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint