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Brain Damage
Sep 24, 2007

Do you think the brain damage (HIV Kills Brain Cells, Prevents Stem Cell Division) find in a study of University of California-San Diego and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research , published recently in The Body, is a reason enough to decide begin medication earlier (before CD4 are 350), not only to prevent dementia but any tiny damage to the brain. I'm (42 ) just diagnosticated, my viral load is 22.480, my CD4 are 403 and I have mild peripheral neuropathy. ¿Is impossible avoid complete de brain damage?.

Thanks very much

(sorry my English)

Matias

Santiago

Chile

South America

Response from Dr. Young

Hola Matias, gracias para su pregunta (y lo siento mi Espanol).

You raise a very interesting question- one that raises the issue of when to start and with what medications. Suffice to say that there are a lot of medical complications of HIV that aren't necessarily AIDS-defining ones. Such neurological "damage" due to HIV (in patients with higher CD4 counts falls into this category.

I would find that for the right patient, that this rationale could tip the balance towards earlier initation of treatment. In your case, if you already have peripheral neuropathy symptoms, I'd be suggesting treatment in the near future, especially since your CD4 count is already close to the guideline level of 350.

As for complete avoidance of any brain injury, this is very difficult to answer, though it seems compelling to me that treating HIV, rather than waiting for more severe symptoms (or risk thereof) is reasonable.

Hope this helps. BY



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