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A new treatment for PML
Mar 1, 2000

My brother was diagnosed 1 1/2 years ago with PML and is presently in a nursing home. For the last year he has had no detectable level of the AIDS virus.

The only drug he ever got was a steroid which was supposed to help with his mental condition(2months)over a year ago !

He has dementia,has nerve damage to left side,& is incontinent. I still want to do everything I can to support his condition -- I have heard about "Memantine" that has been used with AIDS dementia & Alzheimers with some success.

From what i learned it has the least side-effects of the drugs available.

What is your opinion on this drug and can you suggest any alternatives?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Memantine has been used for HIV dementia. There is a large study of this drug which is just winding down and results should be available by mid-year. I have had success treating HIV dementia with combination therapy for HIV that includes the drug nevirapine. PML may be a separate problem, and there is no established treatment for it. Some people do well on combination treatment for HIV, but it sounds like he is getting this without any improvement.

There is a drug called cidofovir for CMV that may be helpful in PML, but it is still experimental for PML.


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