HIV-related brain problems are studied

Apr 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 shows effectiveness of simple, low-cost tobacco interventions in ERs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists create vaccine against heroin high

Jul 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.

Scientists find measles' natural nemesis

Jan 20, 2011

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found that a known enzyme in cells protects against measles virus, likely by altering the virus's genetic material, RNA. Cells lacking the enzyme become highly vulnerable ...

Recommended for you

Why medical debt – and bankruptcy – are growing problems

21 minutes ago

Burdensomely high medical costs are often blamed for pushing many Americans into bankruptcy. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau some 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports. ...

California declares electronic cigarettes a health threat

34 minutes ago

California health officials on Wednesday declared electronic cigarettes a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter ...

New cells may help treat diabetes

38 minutes ago

Starting from human skin cells, researchers at the University of Iowa have created human insulin-producing cells that respond to glucose and correct blood-sugar levels in diabetic mice. The findings may represent ...

User comments : 0

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.