Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

HIV Meds and Mental health

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Hmmm....I posted an eerily similar thread to this in Living With.;topicseen#msg182256

And these on top of all the brainfog threads that have been posted here over time.  There is definitely something amiss, though I am afraid getting it to be acknowledged and addressed will be an uphill battle, to say the least.

Andy Velez:
You've got it spot on there, Hunter.

We've seen it so many times in other areas of medical history, and again and again in this epidemic, that those living with the virus are more effectively attuned to what's going on with their bodies. They have proven over and over to be a great source of reliable information. That the problems related to the mind are largely ignored by the establishment doesn't mean those problems aren't real and related to HIV and to meds. 

The question is what will it take launch some serious studies of these issues. Instead of ignoring them or variously treating them with drugs that may numb (or in some cases exacerbate) the symptoms without dealing with the origins of same.

And if such studies could be developed, what are the questions they should be asking? 

Interesting study -

AIDS virus is a "double hit" to the brain: study Wed Aug 15, 1:39 PM ET

The AIDS virus damages the brain in two ways, by not only killing brain cells but by preventing the birth of new cells, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

The study, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, helps shed light on a condition known as HIV-associated dementia, which can cause confusion, sleep disturbances and memory loss in people infected with the virus.

It is less common in people taking drug cocktails to suppress the virus, and why HIV damages brain function is not clearly understood.

The virus kills brain cells but it also appears to stop progenitor cells, known as stem cells, from dividing, the team at Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of California at San Diego found.

"It's a double hit to the brain," researcher Marcus Kaul said in a statement. "The HIV protein both causes brain injury and prevents its repair."

The cocktail of drugs known as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART that treats HIV does not infiltrate the brain well, allowing for a "secret reservoir" of virus, said Stuart Lipton, who worked on the study.

HIV-associated dementia is becoming more common, as patients survive into their older years.

Working in mice, the researchers found that the virus directly interferes with the birth of new brain cells from stem cells.

"The breakthrough here is that the AIDS virus prevents stem cells in the brain from dividing; it hangs them up," Lipton said. "It's the first time that the virus has ever been shown to affect stem cells."

The culprit is gp120 -- a protein found on the outside of the AIDS virus, the researchers found.

"Knowing the mechanism, we can start to approach this therapeutically," Lipton said.

"This indicates that we might eventually treat this form of dementia by either ramping up brain repair or protecting the repair mechanism," Kaul added.


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