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Please Interpret the scary Sustiva study for me :-)
Dec 4, 2011

You've previously referenced a recent study in which Sustiva was deemed neurotoxic (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21502598). In layman's terms, how suggestive is the study of a link between Efavirenz and cognitive impairment? How well does the study control for other variables that are likely to affect cognition? Is this the only study that links sustiva to cognitive issues?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

At the 17th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in 2010, it was noted that two studies had found an association between Efavirenz (Sustiva) and worse neurocognitive performance. The study I previously mentioned did consider other factors such as levels of education, which predicted lower risk of HAND (HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders). It is important to note that these studies were correlative, meaning that certain factors (such as taking a medication) were associated with HAND. No causality has yet been documented, although it certainly merits following further research.



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