HIV Patients Likely to Get Potentially Fatal Brain Diseases
July 26, 2007
Neurological disorders were detected in about half of 160 HIV-positive patients evaluated in a study by the Asia-Pacific Neuro AIDS Consortium. The research was presented at the 4th International AIDS Society Conference in Sydney.
The study patients were from Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji. "We quite deliberately kept Australia out of this because we wanted to see what was the impact in these lower middle-income countries," said researcher Dr. Kate Cherry.
Cryptococcal meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain, was found in 29 percent of patients. Fourteen percent had tuberculous meningitis, a similar condition. Nearly 20 percent were found to have cerebral toxoplasmosis, a potentially fatal brain infection. "A lot of those infections happen when the immune system is impaired," Cherry said. "We've seen very high rates of cognitive impairment. It really impacts on [patients'] ability to work and to function normally." The HIV-associated infections were also linked to depression.
Australian Associated Press
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.