Promising drug for children with AIDS.Promising drug for children with AIDS
Ongoing analysis of the treatment of AIDS-infected children with the drug zidovudine zidovudine /zi·do·vu·dine/ (zi-do´vu-den) a synthetic nucleoside (thymidine) analogue that inhibits replication of some retroviruses, including the human immunodeficiency virus; used in the treatment of HIV infection and AIDS. (AZT AZT or zidovudine (zīdō`vydēn'), drug used to treat patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS; also called ), described at a National Institute of Mental Health The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the federal government of the United States and the largest research organization in the world specializing in mental illness. seminar last week, brings encouraging news to a tragic situation.
Investigators recently reported substantial IQ gains for 21 youngsters infected with the AIDS virus AIDS virus
See HIV. given AZT for six months through a continuous transfusion pump strapped to their backs (SN:10/8/88, p.231). Now one of the scientists, Pim Brouwers of the National Cancer Institute, says IQ increased at the same rate for children with and without evidence of brain disease, although the latter group had higher scores. Furthermore, while children infected with AIDS in utero in utero (in u´ter-o) [L.] within the uterus.
In the uterus.
in utero adv. had lower IQs than those infected through blood transfusions blood transfusion, transfer of blood from one person to another, or from one animal to another of the same species. Transfusions are performed to replace a substantial loss of blood and as supportive treatment in certain diseases and blood disorders. , intelligence scores increased proportionally in these two groups over the six months.
Among children older than 6 years. Brouwers says, the biggest improvement was on performance IQ (picture completion and other tests of perception and motor ability).
Parental reports of the childrens' ability to function independently and communicate with others also revealed significant improvement over the study period.
"Whatever way we split the data, we see robust positive effects of continuous infusion AZT therapy," Brouwers says.
It appears AIDS interferes with children's ability to retrieve and express much of what they learn on a day-to-day basis, he adds.
Infants and children account for 2 percent of the U.S. AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The incidence of childhood AIDS is rising. Brouwers points out, with at least 3,000 new cases expected by 1991.