Feb 7, 2007
Dear Doctor, What are the symptoms for AIDS related dementia? Female, + since 1990, now 39 years old, currently not on treatment but approaching the point where Ill have to restart therapy (CD4 500, 31%), I have been experiencing the following problems: worsening of my chronic depression, marked forgetfulness (I used to have excellent memory!), I sleep whenever I can during the hours I am not at work and never feel like going out or meeting people because I feel physically and mentally too tired. If this is AIDS dementia, are HIV medications the only solution or could an anti-depressant alone improve the situation?
Response from Dr. Horwath
Actually, this sounds more like depression than anything else. In particular, the depressed mood, increased sleep, and loss of interest in going out and socializing are very characteristic of depression. You should be evaluated by a good psychiatrist, who will be able to differentiate between depression and dementia based on a mental status examination, inlcuding some more specific tests of your memory, concentration and other cognitive functions.
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