HIV and antiretroviral therapy in the brain: neuronal injury and repair

  • Ronald Ellis1Email author,

    Affiliated with

    • Dianne Langford1,

      Affiliated with

      • Eliezer Masliah1,

        Affiliated with

        • Igor Grant1,

          Affiliated with

          • Robert Heaton1,

            Affiliated with

            • Joseph Wong1,

              Affiliated with

              • Davey Smith1,

                Affiliated with

                • Scott Letendre1 and

                  Affiliated with

                  • Allen McCutchan1

                    Affiliated with

                    BMC Proceedings20082(Suppl 1):S13

                    DOI: 10.1186/1753-6561-2-s1-s13

                    Published: 23 September 2008

                    Worldwide over 30 million people are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). Although HIV is both neurotropic and neurovirulent, the spectrum of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remains under-recognized. Combination antiretroviral therapy has improved the health of millions of those living with HIV, yet antiretroviral drugs show highly variable and often inadequate penetration into the CNS. As a result, patients' quality of life continues to be diminished by milder, residual neurocognitive impairments that have not been effectively addressed. HIV causes synaptodendritic neuronal injury that can be measured post-mortem and is a likely source of neurocognitive decline. By carefully selecting specific antiretrovirals and supplementing them with neuroprotective agents, physicians might be able to facilitate innate CNS repair, promoting enhanced synaptodendritic plasticity, neural function and clinical neurological status.

                    Authors’ Affiliations

                    (1)
                    Department of neurosciences, University of California

                    Copyright

                    © Ellis et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

                    This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

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