About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Particular HIV Subtype Could Cause Dementia, Says Study

by Aruna on August 31, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Font : A-A+

Particular HIV Subtype Could Cause Dementia, Says Study

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that infections with a particular subtype of HIV increase people's likelihood of developing dementia, compared to infections with other subtypes.

Writing about their findings in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the researchers claimed that theirs is the first study to have shown that the specific type of HIV has any effect on cognitive impairment, one of the most common complications of uncontrolled HIV infection.


In their study report, the researchers highlight the fact that HIV occurs in multiple forms, distinguished by small differences in the virus' genetic sequence and designated by letters A through K.

They point out that certain subtypes appear to cluster in particular areas of the world, which others have been associated with different rates of progression to full blown AIDS.

They also revealed that the majority of the 35 million HIV-infected people worldwide live in sub-Saharan Africa, where subtypes A, C and D dominate.

According to them, nearly half of patients with advanced HIV infections have at least mild cognitive impairments, and about 5 percent have the severe form of cognitive impairment, known as dementia.

Dr. Ned Sacktor, professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a clinician at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, previously found that about 31 percent of patients visiting an infectious disease clinic in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, where subtypes A and D dominate, had dementia.

The finding led him to wonder whether patients with different subtypes had different rates of dementia.

He and his colleagues then studied 60 HIV-infected patients from a Kampala clinic, all of whom had been part of a different study testing the effect of anti-retroviral drugs on cognitive impairment, but had not begun taking the drugs.

After determining each patient's HIV subtype, the researchers performed a battery of neurological and cognitive tests to assess each patient's brain function.

They observed that the majority of the patients had HIV subtypes A or D.

Further analysis by the researchers revealed that, of the 33 subtype A patients, seven had dementia, or about 24 percent.

However, out of the nine patients with subtype D, 8 had dementia, about 89 percent.

"We were amazed to see such a dramatic difference in dementia frequencies between these two subtypes. If this is the case in all of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-associated dementia may be one of the most common, but thus far unrecognized, dementias worldwide," Sacktor says.

He says that the study indicates that some biological property of each subtype seems to influence the likelihood that infected patients will develop dementia.

Based on their findings, his team hypothesize that subtype D may cause more inflammation and injury in the brain, a possibility they are currently investigating.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Oral Health And AIDS AIDS/HIV AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features AIDS/HIV - Health Education AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission AIDS / HIV - Treatment AIDS/HIV- Lab Tests and Faqs Prostitution: Fresh Stakes in the Oldest Trade HIV Symptom 

Recommended Reading
Dementia can be Prevented by Moderate Drinking
A new study by the Center for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University says ......
Early Signs Of Dementia Might Be Detectable Using Computer
According to a new study for older people, using computer could provide a warning that they may be ....
Alzheimer's' 'Negative' Effects Reduced By Formal Education
Formal education diminishes the impact of Alzheimer's disease on cognition even if a manifest brain ...
AIDS / HIV - Treatment
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the treatment for AIDS/HIV...
"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure...
AIDS/HIV - Clinical Features
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about HIV Clinical Features...
AIDS/HIV - Epidemiology
AIDS or HIV is an epidemic disease, a potentially deadly infection that can be prevented with preca...
AIDS/HIV - Health Education
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general info about AIDS information and health education....
AIDS/HIV - Prevention And Transmission
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the prevention for AIDS/HIV...
Oral Health And AIDS
AIDS has taken on massive proportions in modern times. It is estimated that over 15 million people a...
Prostitution: Fresh Stakes in the Oldest Trade
Prostitution has broadened its base to include street prostitution, massage brothels, gigolo outcall...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use