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Neurocognitive Problems

Reduced Neurotropic Factor May Explain Cognitive Impairment in HIV+ People

HIV's gp120 envelope protein appears to interfere with production of a natural compound that promotes connections between neurons in the brain, researchers reported in the July 11, 2012, Journal of Neuroscience. The investigators suggested that this may contribute to neurocognitive problems in people with HIV, and possibly other types of cognitive decline such as senile dementia.alt

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CROI 2012: The Long and Winding Road to a Cure for HIV

No one ever thought finding a cure for AIDS would be easy. Medical research is rarely clear-cut, and an HIV cure breakthrough will be a monumental achievement. Yet at this year's Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2012), there were significant signs that AIDS cure research is on its way up a long and winding road at the foot of a very big hill. While a functional cure (ability to control HIV without antiretroviral treatment) or total HIV eradication (known as sterilizing cure) may be a steep climb, advances in this field may improve the current state of HIV treatment.alt

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CROI 2012: HIV Brain Impairment: Who Gets It, and Why?

A number of papers at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2012) last week in Seattle presented advances in research on HIV-related brain impairment and neurocognitive problems.

A couple of problems have dogged research into HIV-related brain impairment. One is how to differentiate between degrees of severity. Psychological tests can detect barely noticeable slowing of performance but the high prevalence of this asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment (ANI) overestimates the proportion of people with HIV who have real difficulty with working or daily life. We also do not know to what extent ANI is a predictor of the development of significant impairment, because some people improve, especially with antiretroviral treatment (ART).


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CROI 2012: Vorinostat -- A First Step on the Road Towards a Cure for HIV

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have for the first time shown that HIV can be purged from resting latent T-cells, an important early step in moving research forward on one of the potential HIV cure strategies, according to a report at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2012) last week in Seattle.alt

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EACS 2011: Neurocognitive Impairment in People with HIV

How much more common is brain impairment and dementia in people with HIV than in the general population? A study presented at the 13th European AIDS Conference (EACS 2011) this week in Belgrade showed that the answer could vary from "no more common" to "4 times as common," according to which group you studied, which sample of the HIV negative population you compared them with, and whether you averaged their neurocognitive (NC) performance over all domains or picked out specific areas of impairment.

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