Quantcast

Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr Instagram
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 28, 2014, 06:02:43 AM

Login with username, password and session length


Members
  • Total Members: 24314
  • Latest: Eb39
Stats
  • Total Posts: 650567
  • Total Topics: 49675
  • Online Today: 146
  • Online Ever: 585
  • (January 07, 2014, 02:31:47 PM)
Users Online
Users: 5
Guests: 130
Total: 135

Welcome


Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ/AIDSmeds community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: Researcher receives $1.8M AIDS-related grant  (Read 654 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cmhjeff

  • Member
  • Posts: 870
Researcher receives $1.8M AIDS-related grant
« on: May 18, 2007, 01:26:10 PM »
2 May 2007
By Eastern Virginia Medical School   
NIH grant to study brain-wasting PML
Edward M. Johnson, Ph.D., professor and chairman of microbiology and molecular cell biology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), received a grant totaling more than $1.8 million over five years to study the molecular mechanics of a brain disease that kills four percent of AIDS patients worldwide.

Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Johnson's research focuses on the JC virus, discovered in 1971 and named for the initials of a patient who died of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML. A disease that afflicts patients with a weakened immune system, PML kills by, essentially, causing the brain's neurons to short-circuit. Aggressive and incurable, PML can kill a patient just a few months after the onset of symptoms. The brain-wasting disease can occur even in patients whose AIDS is kept in check by aggressive antiretroviral drugs.


The JC virus, the focus of Johnson's study, causes the brain to lose myelin, the sheath that insulates the passage of nerve signals. Such demyelination is also found in diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Although researchers have known for years that the JC virus caused the brain-wasting PML, nobody has figured out exactly how. In fact, researchers don't understand how the JC virus, or even the AIDS virus, gets into the brain through a kind of microscopic cheesecloth that filters from the blood anything that can harm the brain. Johnson speculates that the viruses may infect cells that are able to squeeze through the protective blood-brain barrier. "This remains an important problem to solve," Johnson said.

Johnson's newest five-year grant will help him unravel the mystery of exactly how the JC virus does its damage. While many have theorized that damaged immune systems of AIDS patients leave them vulnerable to otherwise benign viruses, Johnson, going a step further, believes that proteins produced by the AIDS virus, HIV, may actually supercharge the JC virus. To do this the HIV proteins interact with proteins produced by cells in the brain.

This prompts a molecular cascade that kills brain cells called oligodendrocytes. These cells have long, sticky tendrils that wrap around and insulate wire-like nerve fibers that connect the brain's neurons. Without this insulation, myelin, the brain's neurons misfire and then atrophy, leaving dead tissue scattered through the brain.

Because brain tissues don't divide, Johnson must conduct his study using oligodendrocytes removed from patients suffering from malignant brain cancer. Ironically, the cancerous cells are taken from patients whose cancer kills by causing massive overproduction of the cells that are destroyed in patients with PML.

If Johnson can decipher the molecular mechanics, the research could help doctors find a way to disrupt the sequences of infection in both PML and AIDS and help stop these diseases.
"The interaction of HIV with other viruses is definitely a target for therapeutic agents," he said.

 


Terms of Membership for these forums
 

© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.