Printer Friendly

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 (AZT), described at a National Institute of Mental Health seminar last week, brings encouraging news to a tragic situation.

Investigators recently reported substantial IQ gains for 21 youngsters infected with the AIDS virus 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 had lower IQs than those infected through blood transfusions, 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.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:AZT
Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 11, 1989
Previous Article:Medication concerns in rest homes.
Next Article:Deep-see shrimp: can eyeless shrimp see jets of hot water spouting from the ocean floor?

Related Articles
Children and AIDS.
Surprising boost for children with AIDS.
AZT-resistant HIV seen.
Gout drug might cut AZT dosage by half.
AZT lowers maternal HIV transmission rate.
AZT falls short for kids with HIV.
Honing new weapon to counter HIV.
AZT shows promise as breast cancer fighter.
AZT shows no ill effects on babies.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters