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Author Topic: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions  (Read 6759 times)

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Offline BUZZCUTT

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« on: July 10, 2009, 02:15:27 PM »
Does anyone know if the virus affects your short term memory or focusing problems or could it be the meds, none of my meds say anything about this as a side effect.  I'm having very bad short tem memory and focusing problems somewhat like A.D.D. this makes it difficult for me while trying to remeber things in school.

Thanks
Buzz
Buzz ♥

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 23,563
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 03:31:05 PM »
Maybe I'm wrong, but I recall when you first came on this board that you also take a lot of psychiatric medications, right?  Maybe it's more something with those -- sedatives can do this.

So, in short, I'd rule those out first before moving on to HIV doing it if you're on effective AVR regimen.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline sreamer17ydr

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  • Posts: 36
  • me looking good!
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 12:09:01 PM »
I do know HIV's TAT gene in the structure of hiv does affect the brain funtions later in the infection (years down the road)...  why there trying to develope drugs to pass the brain-blood barrier to block hiv in the brain to help maintain normal funtion. Try eating more healthier brain food and omega 3, and take ur hiv med to keep it undetecable. I know my ex, who had HIV for 20 years... and a salvage patient on Prezista, norvir, selezentry and isentress has bad memory.
July 1st 09: Tested Poz
August 19th 09: CD4 Count: 566/ Viral Load: 20,653
Nov 10: CD4:623 Viral load: 57,673
Dec 13th: CD4 count 400, viral load-60,000
Feb 1 2010: CD4: 600 Viral load: 67,000
Feb 16 2010: Started Atripla
March 29 2010-CD4 Count: 740, Viral Load: Undetectable, CD4 percentage: 34%
Oct 27th,2010: CD4 Count: 620, Viral Load: Undetectable, CD4 percentage: 32%

Offline elf

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  • Posts: 582
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 12:59:29 PM »
Keeping your brain active is crucial (by studying/learning or another activity)...
Let's have a Kiki!

Offline physicsguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 59
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 08:54:41 PM »
Keeping your brain active is crucial (by studying/learning or another activity)...
This.  I haven't noticed any lingering diminished mental capacity despite being on treatment for years.

When are you taking your meds?  If it's an option (i.e. you're on a once/day regimen), taking them at night may help.  Atripla makes me feel very stoned a couple hours after I take it, but I'm back to normal by the time I wake up.

Offline Dale Parker

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  • Posts: 265
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 11:37:54 PM »
I am having the same short term memory problems.   I go to the kitchen and forget why I went there.  I forget place names that I should know off the top of my head. I know that that happens to everyone but it seems to be getting worse the last little while.  If you read my previous posts my CD4 count was 21 when I was first diagnosed.  I asked my doctor if the meds (Truvada and Kaletra) could make me stupid.  His reply was a definite NO.  He said that since I was HIV positive for many years prior to being diagnosed and put on meds that I could be developing what is called "Aids related dementia".  He said the meds will probably stop it from getting worse.   
He asked me to keep a log of things I forget and show it to him next time I'm in to see him.  I guess that we will have to see where I go from there.   I'm also thinking that it could be that since I have had so much to deal with in the last 4 months (the aids diagnosis, finding medical insurance, being unemployed, finding subsidized housing and moving) that I may just have too much on my mind.
I'll let you know whats up when I find out more.
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

Offline BUZZCUTT

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  • Posts: 120
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2009, 09:25:42 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback from everyone, my doctor put me on Focalin, I go to school fulltime and this seems to help,only thing is coming down from the drug makes me extremely tired.
Buzz ♥

Offline BUZZCUTT

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009, 09:30:06 PM »
I am having the same short term memory problems.   I go to the kitchen and forget why I went there.  I forget place names that I should know off the top of my head. I know that that happens to everyone but it seems to be getting worse the last little while.  If you read my previous posts my CD4 count was 21 when I was first diagnosed.  I asked my doctor if the meds (Truvada and Kaletra) could make me stupid.  His reply was a definite NO.  He said that since I was HIV positive for many years prior to being diagnosed and put on meds that I could be developing what is called "Aids related dementia".  He said the meds will probably stop it from getting worse.   
He asked me to keep a log of things I forget and show it to him next time I'm in to see him.  I guess that we will have to see where I go from there.   I'm also thinking that it could be that since I have had so much to deal with in the last 4 months (the aids diagnosis, finding medical insurance, being unemployed, finding subsidized housing and moving) that I may just have too much on my mind.
I'll let you know whats up when I find out more.
Heyy Dale I hope everything works out for you, especially your housing, I'm currently behind 3 months with my electric and trying to find some sort of assistance, I just started SocialSecurity Disability and money is tight, I know how you feel.

Buzz ♥

Offline Dale Parker

  • Member
  • Posts: 265
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2009, 04:29:42 PM »
Hey Buzzcut:  My housing problems are solved.  I went to welfare and they basically threw money at me.  I got my rent up to date with their help.  Welfare also paid the $1000 deductable that I had to pay for my meds in July and August.  I got shit from the welfare worker as I was supposed to take my disability forms back to her.  I took them back to the disability people instead.  Welfare pushed them thru.  They got the medical approved and now just have to get the financial approved.  It should be done in the next week or so.  Had a few rough spots two weeks ago but I'm over that now.  I still don't know whether I'll get my unemployment or disability money by the end of this month. I will get a welfare cheque if all else fails.
   My memory problems seem to have cured themselves.  I think that I just had way too much on my mind and even though I didn't think that I had.  I also hang around with a bunch of guys that have photographic memories which I never had. I think I get a bit paranoid about my normal memory around them.  I also got DOORED a few weeks back and ended up with a big lump on my head. I wasn't wearing my helmet.  I think that may have unscrambled my brain as well as knocked some sense into me.  In case anyone doesn't know what getting DOOED means it's when you riding your bike on the road and some asshole in a car doesn't check before opening the car door and you run into it. 
  How's your memory coming along?  Is it getting better since your getting back to school? 
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

Offline macaque3

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2009, 11:35:49 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback from everyone, my doctor put me on Focalin, I go to school fulltime and this seems to help,only thing is coming down from the drug makes me extremely tired.
Hey Buzzcut: i am newly infected and diagnosed (in Apr/May 09) and have thought i had some STM problems. These have happened both on and off meds, but i have been treated for ADD in recent years. Ritalin/Focalin is one possible help, and it is used in more advanced cognitive impairment, so i'm glad to hear that you're benefiting. I wonder if a longer acting form of Ritalin than Focalin would leave you feeling less tired... something to ask your doctor about. Good luck!
Best,
L

Offline BUZZCUTT

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2009, 08:30:52 PM »
Hey Buzzcut:  My housing problems are solved.  I went to welfare and they basically threw money at me.  I got my rent up to date with their help.  Welfare also paid the $1000 deductable that I had to pay for my meds in July and August.  I got shit from the welfare worker as I was supposed to take my disability forms back to her.  I took them back to the disability people instead.  Welfare pushed them thru.  They got the medical approved and now just have to get the financial approved.  It should be done in the next week or so.  Had a few rough spots two weeks ago but I'm over that now.  I still don't know whether I'll get my unemployment or disability money by the end of this month. I will get a welfare cheque if all else fails.
   My memory problems seem to have cured themselves.  I think that I just had way too much on my mind and even though I didn't think that I had.  I also hang around with a bunch of guys that have photographic memories which I never had. I think I get a bit paranoid about my normal memory around them.  I also got DOORED a few weeks back and ended up with a big lump on my head. I wasn't wearing my helmet.  I think that may have unscrambled my brain as well as knocked some sense into me.  In case anyone doesn't know what getting DOOED means it's when you riding your bike on the road and some asshole in a car doesn't check before opening the car door and you run into it. 
  How's your memory coming along?  Is it getting better since your getting back to school? 

Hi Dale, i'm glad you got everything situatied in your finances.  I went to the Depart of Health in my county, they have an HIV?AIDS department. and they said they would be able to assist me.  I have to get aletter stating my ssi cancelled and my ssdi took its place, also have to bring my shut off notice from the electric company, i go back  on monday , they also requested med records which they rcvd from my docs office, i hope they can assist withthe whole bill as it is due to be shut off on friday.

My memory is still the same, i really have to work at things to remeber them, my counts dropped severly over the last month, so the doc put me on a whole diffrent regimine that i started today,  everytime he changes the meds i always feel i'm on my last leg , its goes for about 2 months then the counts start to drop.

Sorry you hit your head on the car door, i hit my head all the time, im 6'7" so alwayss bumbing my head.  Well at least your memory as improved from the head accidednt,  Maybe you have pyschi powers not.  Well take care Dale, and keep in touch!!

Jefrey

Buzz ♥

Offline Dale Parker

  • Member
  • Posts: 265
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2009, 02:25:11 AM »
Hey Buzzcut:  I'm really glad that you managed to find some money solutions.  It really makes life a lot easier when you don't have to worry about repercussions from not being able to pay the bills. It's too bad that finding money is so difficult. You know that help is out there but you just can't seem to access it.  I just found out today that my disability payments will start at the end of this month.  Finally my financing is secure.  Drugs, housing and money problems are now solved. At last I can finally relax and concentrate on enjoying life.
   Hopefully now that your money problems are looking better your numbers will go up. I'm a real big believer that by having a good, positive attitude, filling your life with laughter and living as stress and worry free as possible are a big boost to the meds that we have to take. Stress and worry can also be a big factor in your memory problems. You tend to think more about your problems and not about what your doing causing forgetfullness. I think I got a little paranoid about my forgetfullness which caused more worry causing even more forgetfullness. Hopefully you will find the same and if not I hope you doctor can get you sorted out.

To all the others out there that have just found out they are positive.  HIV and Aids is very expensive.  The worry about finances can be equally as devastating as the realization that you are positive.  I found out the hard way.  Please don't be afraid to mention money problems to everone you talk to. By not talking about it and being too proud to ask for help I almost had a major life threatening breakdown. I caused myself lot of stress and wasted a few thousand dollars I didn't have. 
I mentioned my money problems to the unemployment office and they directed me to welfare. Welfare helped me out financially and also helped get me on disability (even though I was worrying thru the disability office). Welfare pushed my disability thru a lot faster and with less paperwork than going thru the disability office. By being pigheaded, stubborn, and too embarrassed to ask for help I wasted a ton of money and caused myself a lot of unnecessary stress and embarrassment (by not paying my bills).
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

Offline rabit64

  • Member
  • Posts: 34
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 01:43:08 AM »
My consultant has put me on Viramune because of brain problems. I forget things easily, and lack concentration. I can be talking to someone and in the middle of a sentance forget what we were talking about. I wondered about AIDs related demensia. Because of my late diagnosis the virus had crossed the blood/brain barrier, and as a med, Viramune crosses this as well and can have a benificial effect. Hope this helps

Rob

Offline Dale Parker

  • Member
  • Posts: 265
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2009, 12:05:57 PM »
Hey Rob: I hope the new meds work. I know with me it was a temporary thing. I hope yours is too.
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

Offline BUZZCUTT

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2009, 01:40:48 PM »
Hey Buzzcut: i am newly infected and diagnosed (in Apr/May 09) and have thought i had some STM problems. These have happened both on and off meds, but i have been treated for ADD in recent years. Ritalin/Focalin is one possible help, and it is used in more advanced cognitive impairment, so i'm glad to hear that you're benefiting. I wonder if a longer acting form of Ritalin than Focalin would leave you feeling less tired... something to ask your doctor about. Good luck!
Best,
L
Hey Macaque, thanks for your feedback, i'm going to see my psych doc in 2 wks and going to ask him to put me on ridalin, as i dont think the focalin is working to well

Talk to you soon~
Buzz ♥

Offline BUZZCUTT

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2009, 01:53:12 PM »
Hi Dale, i'm glad you got everything situatied in your finances.  I went to the Depart of Health in my county, they have an HIV?AIDS department. and they said they would be able to assist me.  I have to get aletter stating my ssi cancelled and my ssdi took its place, also have to bring my shut off notice from the electric company, i go back  on monday , they also requested med records which they rcvd from my docs office, i hope they can assist withthe whole bill as it is due to be shut off on friday.

My memory is still the same, i really have to work at things to remeber them, my counts dropped severly over the last month, so the doc put me on a whole diffrent regimine that i started today,  everytime he changes the meds i always feel i'm on my last leg , its goes for about 2 months then the counts start to drop.

Sorry you hit your head on the car door, i hit my head all the time, im 6'7" so alwayss bumbing my head.  Well at least your memory as improved from the head accidednt,  Maybe you have pyschi powers not.  Well take care Dale, and keep in touch!!

Jefrey


Hi Dale, well the health department was no help, i brought in all the correct records and they said my electiric would not get shut off, will 3 days later it was shut off, they neglected to tell me the application process takes 4 to 8 weeks, and now they are saying that i am a bad risk, as i dont make enough on SSDI to pay my rent electiric phone and food,they said if they help me now whats to say it happens again so i am a bad risk, well i ended up in the hospital for 8 days, i had collapsed from dehydration from diahreeha, so they took me out  from 911, in the mean time i had to use my ssdi to put back the power on and my roomate had to borrow money from a family member to cover the mortgage and now i dont have any money for food. got our of the hospital last wednesday, and still feeling sick, i am going to contact  one of the aids service organizations and see if they can assist with rental income and food, cause i am at rock bottom right now, and he just makes me sicker from the stress and not eating right, i am ain a mess right now and dont know how to fix this one.  Kinda makes me just stop taking my meds and just dying or something like that, the doc changed my meds and these by far have made me the sickest.

Well anyway thanks for listening

Jeffrey
Buzz ♥

Offline Dale Parker

  • Member
  • Posts: 265
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2009, 08:41:43 PM »
Hey Jeffery: Sorry to hear about your problems. I know how much stress you are under right now.  Feeling that your at the bottom of the pile is pretty uncomfortable. Even though it seems impossible but you will get thru this.
    Can you go to welfare? They are the ones that helped me out and they did it pretty fast. The local Aids group should be able to help you a lot too. If they are like my group they should be able to hook you up with some great programs. If not they should be able to steer you in the right direction. If all else fails try gong to your local politicians. The elected ones for your area (city, state etc.). Usually they can pull strings and have access to both information and money to help out.
  If your comfortable can you post your state or city on here. Some of the others who are in the same city /state can help you better than I can. Since I'm in Canada I'm not familiar with all the services you have access to. You can always PM me even if you just need to vent. My shoulder is always here for you to cry on if you need it.
 Above all please look after yourself. It's going to be a tough go for you but it will be a lot tougher if your not feeling well or in hospital again. I wish I could do more for you.
I'm sending you two big HUGS and have my fingers crossed for you.
Dale
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

Offline a2z

  • Member
  • Posts: 186
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2009, 12:27:15 PM »
I am having the same short term memory problems.   I go to the kitchen and forget why I went there.  I forget place names that I should know off the top of my head. I know that that happens to everyone but it seems to be getting worse the last little while. 

I too have had these issues, but my lowest count was 315, and if I am correct as to when I got it, I started medicines 4 years after I acquired the virus.  Diagnosis was 3 years in and my counts were in the 500s. 

Because I was seriously worried about some of my issues, and had other potential symptoms to boot, I had an MRI done.  No damage.  Still waiting for the rest of the results.  By my "head doctor" told me, even knowing my status, that while it could be the HIV it could also be the fact that I'm in my early 40s and well... maybe my expectations are a bit high.  She then proceeded to check for Alzheimer's -- all was good there.

My familly has a history of "forgetfulness" and it's only caught up to me now.  I notice this stuff a lot more when I'm really tired.  And then there are days like yesterday where I forgot a name, but otherwise well-functioning. Sometimes even better than I was the previous decade.

A certain amount of cognitive decline is normal in healthy people.  I'm not saying don't be concerned about it, I'm just saying don't let it spook you too much.

Dates are blood draw dates:
09/21/09: CD 898 27.0% VL 120 - back on track, same meds.High level enzymes, but less so
06/15/09: CD4 478 21.8% VL 1150 - high liver enzymes... looks like I may not be resistant
05/22/09: Fixed insurance, resumed medicine
04/17/09: Ran out of medicine, could not resolve insurance problems
04/01/09: CD4 773 28% VL 120 - high liver enzymes
12/01/08: CD4 514 23% VL 630
10/17/08 started Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. -- possibly minor neuropathy, but otherwise okay.
9/10/08: CD4 345 17%, VL > 78K
8/18/08: CD4 312 18%, VL > 60K (considering meds)
12/19/07: CD4 550 28% VL > 100K (no meds yet)
Diagnosed 10/23/07

Offline a2z

  • Member
  • Posts: 186
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2009, 12:31:03 PM »
...it could also be the fact that I'm in my early 40s and well... maybe my expectations are a bit high. 

I just realized some context is necessary.  I hold a job that requires a fairly decent amount of brain-power.  That and I can still kick ass on a sudoku puzzle... though I just realized I can't spell it :)
Dates are blood draw dates:
09/21/09: CD 898 27.0% VL 120 - back on track, same meds.High level enzymes, but less so
06/15/09: CD4 478 21.8% VL 1150 - high liver enzymes... looks like I may not be resistant
05/22/09: Fixed insurance, resumed medicine
04/17/09: Ran out of medicine, could not resolve insurance problems
04/01/09: CD4 773 28% VL 120 - high liver enzymes
12/01/08: CD4 514 23% VL 630
10/17/08 started Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. -- possibly minor neuropathy, but otherwise okay.
9/10/08: CD4 345 17%, VL > 78K
8/18/08: CD4 312 18%, VL > 60K (considering meds)
12/19/07: CD4 550 28% VL > 100K (no meds yet)
Diagnosed 10/23/07

Offline BUZZCUTT

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2009, 10:47:01 PM »
Dale
[/quote]Hi Dale thank you for the information, i live in winter haven florida, and the ASO's go by your county, so mine is the polk county health department.  This was a waste of my time, did not get any aid from them, they dont even have a food bank there.  Now if i lived in orlando or tampa they have serval different aso's in thier county that i would be able to get assistance from, we are just getting by i just need like 5000 to get everything caught up and in the black again, but untill then is ssi check month to month and davids paycheck every week.

I'm just tired of fighting with these people, i need to move back to orange county florida.

Thanks Dale talk to you soon!
Buzz ♥

Offline Dale Parker

  • Member
  • Posts: 265
Re: HIV/AIDS and Brain Functions
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2009, 09:03:48 PM »
God I wish that I could have been more help to you and David.  Hopefully you can get sorted out and not have to move. If you do move keep in touch and all the best .
Lots of big hugs
Dale   
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

 


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