HIV-related brain problems are studied

April 27, 2006

Scripps Research Institute scientists have shed new light on the molecular basis of brain function problems associated with immune deficiency viruses.

The La Jolla, Calif., researchers used viruses similar to the HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. They said their findings may ultimately lead to new therapeutic interventions to prevent or reverse nervous system disorders in HIV-infected individuals.

Using multi-disciplinary analysis -- including cognitive, neurophysiologic, virologic, and molecular techniques -- the team found both a low-level viral infection in the brain as well as immune cells that had infiltrated the brain in order to protect against the virus.

"As in the rest of the body, in the brain immune cells achieve a level of control of the virus, but are unable to clear the infection," said lead author Howard Fox, an associate professor at Scripps Research and director of Scripps NeuroAIDS Preclinical Studies Center. "Over the long-term, this immune response may act as a double-edged sword, protecting against rampant viral replication in the brain, but leading to brain dysfunction."

The study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Study reveals workings of mysterious 'relief valve' that protects cells from swelling

Related Stories

Scientists discover blueprint of body's heat sensor

January 18, 2016

Touch a hot stove, and your fingers will recoil in pain because your skin carries tiny temperature sensors that detect heat and send a message to your brain saying, "Ouch! That's hot! Let go!"

Scientists create vaccine against heroin high

July 20, 2011

Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a highly successful vaccine against a heroin high and have proven its therapeutic potential in animal models.

Worm-like marine animal providing

June 18, 2008

[B]The marine invertebrate amphioxus offers baseline information for genetic roots of vertebrate innovation such as the adaptive immune system[/B] Research on the genome of a marine creature led by scientists at Scripps ...

Recommended for you

Nanoscale cavity strongly links quantum particles

February 8, 2016

Scientists have created a crystal structure that boosts the interaction between tiny bursts of light and individual electrons, an advance that could be a significant step toward establishing quantum networks in the future.

Earth-like planets have Earth-like interiors

February 8, 2016

Every school kid learns the basic structure of the Earth: a thin outer crust, a thick mantle, and a Mars-sized core. But is this structure universal? Will rocky exoplanets orbiting other stars have the same three layers? ...

Tiny diatoms boast enormous strength

February 8, 2016

Diatoms are single-celled algae organisms, around 30 to 100 millionths of a meter in diameter, that are ubiquitous throughout the oceans. These creatures are encased within a hard shell shaped like a wide, flattened cylinder—like ...

Making sense of metallic glass

February 8, 2016

If you freeze any liquid fast enough, even liquid metal, it becomes a glass. Vitrified metals, or metallic glasses, are at the frontier of materials science research. They have been made by rapidly cooling alloys of various ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.