Unknown Brain Infections

Question

My brother has been in the Hospital since Sept, 08 with some viral brain infection. He has had several Tests from 2 hospitals including the Brain Biospy. he is now in Medical Intensive care and doctors still do not know what it is. His counts are in good standings. He is non responsive on and off. He can not walk or move his body. Do you have any idea what this could be. The doctors are baffled, I convinced them to try the HAART Therapy in case it is PML.

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your brother. The most common viral infections of the brain (other than HIV itself) would be JC virus (the cause of PML), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein Barr Virus (EBV, which can cause lymphoma of the brain), and herpes simplex virus. Most of these can be diagnosed readily with modern techniques (PCR of the spinal fluid). I agree that HAART, with an attempt to restore a more balanced immune response would be a part of treating any of these infections. After all, it is the imbalance of the immune system that let the infection get started in the first place. I hope he recovers fully. Best, Joe