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What Effect Does HIV or AIDS Have On The Brain?



What affect does HIV/AIDS have on the brain?


HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS is the term used to indicate that there has been damage to the immune system. This means that persons can become sick from different germs. HIV itself can infect the brain and other cells that travel to the brain. It can lead to memory loss, confusion, slowing of movements if left untreated. This is similar to Alzhiemer`s disease.

Fortunately, newer treatments for HIV appear to reverse and/or slow the development of these problems. A number of other germs can cause brain damage as a result of HIV`s affect on the brain and the immune system. Different infections that can occur include cytomegalovirus (CMV) causing blindness or dementia; PML, an infection that causes "stroke-like" problems; Lymphoma--a cancer. These are some of the problems that can occur.

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati