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Brain diseases persist. (Treatment News).

A review of autopsy reports from HIV-infected patients showed that cases of HIV encephalopathy, a brain disease that can cause structural alterations, are increasing. The study, published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (31:2, p. 171, 2002) describes data collected from HIV-infected patients who died between 1985 and 1999. Opportunistic infections of the brain, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), toxoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and lymphoma have decreased over time. Cases of severe forms of HIV encephalopathy have also decreased, but the incidence of mild and moderate forms of the disease has increased, especially after the introduction of combination anti-HIV therapy (also called "HAART")in 1996. Patients on HAART are living longer, which may give HIV more of an opportunity to cause problems in the brain. Researchers speculate that HAART may lessen the severity of HIV-related brain diseases by decreasing a patient's viral load. Unfortunately, these agents probably have a limited effect on fully preventing the damage.
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Publication:HIV Treatment: ALERTS!
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
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