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Neurocognitive Problems

Working Group Releases Guidelines for Improved Care of HIV-associated Cognitive Impairment

All people with HIV should be screened for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders soon after testing positive, and those with evidence of impairment should be monitored regularly, according to international consensus guidelines developed by the Mind Exchange Working Group published in the November 28, 2012, advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Beyond antiretroviral therapy (ART), however, there are limited options for managing neurocognitive problems.


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Raltegravir (Isentress) Can Cause Central Nervous System Side Effects for People with HIV

The HIV integrase inhibitor raltegravir (brand name Isentress) is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it can cause central nervous system (CNS) symptoms such as insomnia, dizziness, and mood changes, especially when used with other drugs that raise its levels in the body, researchers reported in the October 1, 2012, advance online edition of AIDS. alt

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Efavirenz Metabolism May Damage Neurons, Contribute to Neurocognitive Problems

Metabolites produces during processing of the widely used NNRTI efavirenz (Sustiva, also in the Atripla combination pill) can reach high levels in the brain, which can be toxic to neurons and interfere with cell signaling, according to a report in the September 19, 2012, online edition of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. alt

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Speed of Processing Training Can Improve Cognitive Function for People with HIV

Completing 10 hours of exercises designed to enhance mental processing speed led to improvements in cognitive functioning for middle-aged and older people with HIV and increased their ability to carry out daily tasks, researchers reported in the November 2012 Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.  alt

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Compounds in Chocolate and Green Tea May Protect against HIV-related Cognitive Impairment

A set of compounds related to epicatechin, a flavonoid found in cocoa and green tea leaves that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, can protect against brain cell injury and death caused by HIV proteins in the laboratory, researchers reported in the August 11, 2012, online edition of Journal of NeuroVirology. alt

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