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HIV Life >> Living With HIV

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ScotCharles
Legend

Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
HIV May Damage Brain Tissue
      #163858 - 11/10/05 04:33 PM

Los Angeles Times Examines Research Surrounding Long-Term Effects of HIV on Brain Tissue

November 8, 2005

The Los Angeles Times on Monday examined research into the long-term effects of HIV on brain tissue (Brink, Los Angeles Times, 11/7). A study published in October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that HIV can continue to damage some types of brain tissue even when patients are receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy. Paul Thompson, a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles, and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh used a 3D magnetic resonance imaging technique on the brains of 26 people diagnosed with AIDS and 14 HIV-negative people. The researchers found that the brain tissue of AIDS patients was 10% to 15% thinner in regions that control movement, language and feeling than the brain tissue of HIV-positive patients who had not developed AIDS. The tissue loss shown in the brain imaging of the AIDS patients correlated with motor and cognitive defects that the patients showed in multiple brain function tests. The extent of the tissue loss seemed to be related to patients' CD4+ T cell counts. AIDS patients who were taking HAART had no significant difference in tissue loss compared with AIDS patients who were not taking the therapy. "A protective blood barrier prevents drugs from entering the brain, transforming it into a reservoir where HIV can multiply and attack cells unchecked," Thompson said. According to the study, some areas of the brain were not affected by HIV. At least two in five people living with HIV/AIDS are expected to experience HIV-related cognitive injury, ranging from minor impairments to dementia (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/12). Researchers are unsure "how great a problem looms," but "even mild to moderate" cognitive impairments among a large percentage of HIV-positive people could become a "public health issue," the Times reports.

Related Study
The National Institute of Mental Health is sponsoring a long-term clinical trial of brain function in HIV-positive people that will eventually include about 1,600 participants. David Clifford, head of the Neurologic AIDS Research Consortium at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said that preliminary findings of the study show that about half of the participants have "subnormal performance" indicated by a variety of symptoms, including impaired motor or cognitive abilities. Clifford said, "The biggest concern is that this is the tip of the iceberg. We should not be complacent about the brain in HIV" (Los Angeles Times, 11/7).

SC - Well that's why I'm getting forgetful and fall-down?


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Anonymous
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Re: HIV May Damage Brain Tissue new
      #164256 - 11/16/05 07:30 AM

I keep telling my Dr. that I don't function very well anymore. We have tried two brain stimulants (wellbutrin, provigil), but the side effects were bad. Any other ideas?

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ScotCharles
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Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: HIV May Damage Brain Tissue new
      #164347 - 11/16/05 04:34 PM

My brain was one of those scanned for this test. So far very little effects of deterioration save slight forgetfullness and loss of balance, which may be due to my age. I'm not anxious to take any more drugs unless the doctors can say they will definitely help the symptoms. Besides the deterioration, this study detected is at most 15% loss of function, which is easily compensated by the brain. We have a lot of excess capacity in our brains, as well as an ability to cross wire if necessary. I would worry more about who is going to win the Super Bowl than this stuff, right now.

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Scotchula
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Reged: 07/29/05
Posts: 18
Re: HIV May Damage Brain Tissue new
      #164707 - 11/19/05 06:55 PM

WORD SC! I dont know much about the topic in general. But if you think about it, they say thoes people who do a lot of 'brain exercises' have a lower incidence of Alzheimer's Disease. Granted its a differnt condition, but if these mental workouts can deminish this desease, which spacificly attacks the brain, there is no reason to think it cant do the same for the HIV+.

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ScotCharles
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Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: HIV May Damage Brain Tissue new
      #165892 - 12/01/05 09:01 PM

True, unless the 15% deterioration is just the beginning of a longer process.....but who knows, best to worry about the Super Bowl than this.

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THE T
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Re: HIV May Damage Brain Tissue new
      #168000 - 12/28/05 04:06 AM

It is in all probability your medicine regimen for HIV. For four years I suffered from continual cognitive degeneration and thought it was the progression of the disease. In April I took myself off of all medication and my mental acuity has returned. I do not recommend taking yourself off of medication, but to work with your doctor to find a regimen that doesn't slow your mental faculties.

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