Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solving the puzzle of cognitive problems caused by HIV infection

Date:
July 1, 2011
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
A longstanding medical mystery -- why so many people with HIV experience memory loss and other cognitive problems despite potent antiretroviral therapy -- may have been solved by researchers.

A longstanding medical mystery -- why so many people with HIV experience memory loss and other cognitive problems despite potent antiretroviral therapy -- may have been solved by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Their findings are published in the June 29 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Even though antiretroviral treatment suppresses HIV replication and slows the progress of HIV disease, between 40 and 60 percent of HIV-infected people eventually develop mild-to-moderate neurological deficits, and up to 5 percent develop full-blown dementia. Until now, researchers have not been able to explain why these complications, collectively known as neuroAIDS, occur.

In a previous study, the Einstein researchers found that HIV infects about 5 percent of brain cells known as astrocytes. These cells bolster the blood-brain barrier, a network of blood vessels that prevents harmful substances from crossing into the brain from the bloodstream. In the present study, the researchersshow that even this low-level of astrocyte infection can profoundly damage the blood-brain barrier.

"The relatively few infected astrocytes emit toxic signals through specialized channels that kill neighboring uninfected astrocytes, ultimately weakening the blood-brain barrier and allowing harmful compounds to enter the brain," said senior author Joan Berman, Ph.D., professor of pathology and of microbiology & immunology at Einstein.

The evidence came from a laboratory model of the blood-brain barrier constructed of human cells and from examining brain tissue of macaque monkeys infected with the simian form of HIV. The results suggest that drugs capable of reducing the damaging signaling cascades triggered by HIV-infected astrocytes might help in preventing or treating neuroAIDS.

The Journal of Neuroscience paper's lead author is Eliseo Eugenin, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology at Einstein.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. A. Eugenin, J. E. Clements, M. C. Zink, J. W. Berman. Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection of Human Astrocytes Disrupts Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity by a Gap Junction-Dependent Mechanism. Journal of Neuroscience, 2011; 31 (26): 9456 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1460-11.2011

Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Solving the puzzle of cognitive problems caused by HIV infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701150501.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2011, July 1). Solving the puzzle of cognitive problems caused by HIV infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701150501.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Solving the puzzle of cognitive problems caused by HIV infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701150501.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins