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Long-term latency of HIV is highly correlated with cognitive impairment
Update time:2019-08-04 23:06:07   【 Font: Large  Medium Small

A team of British researchers reported in the journal Nature that they detected HIV DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with AIDS and found that these patients were more likely to have cognitive impairment than those without HIV.
For AIDS treatment, the most commonly used method is combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), which only inhibits HIV replication, but cannot eliminate it from the patient's body. Once the treatment is stopped, the virus replicates again. Clearing all HIV from the body of AIDS patients has long been the key to treating HIV, but in the central nervous system the effects of HIV are not fully understood.
In the new study, a team of researchers from several institutions, including the University of Cambridge, examined the cerebrospinal fluid of 49 AIDS patients. The vast majority of these patients were middle-aged women who received cART therapy for 5 years. The results showed that 46 percent of the patients had HIV DNA in their CSF cells, more than 40 percent had some degree of cognitive impairment, and 8 percent of those without HIV DNA in CSF cells had cognitive impairment. The researchers detected HIV DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid of most HIV patients, suggesting that cART could not kill the virus lurking in the central nervous system. Although there are many factors causing cognitive impairment in AIDS patients, such as age, inflammation, vascular dysfunction, etc., there is a close correlation between latent HIV DNA in CSF cells and cognitive impairment. The mechanism is unclear, but the findings have potential clinical value. The cognitive interference of HIV is another reminder of the complexity of the brain environment. In the future, we will associate more neurological diseases with brain pathogens.

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