HIV dementia

NeuroHIV

HEALTH INFORMATION

Investigating links between HIV and dementia

WHAT WE KNOW

There is a growing concern that long-term HIV infection and aging may increase the risk of developing degenerative brain diseases similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

We are conducting a study to better understand whether long-term HIV infection increases the risk of developing difficulties with memory and concentration in HIV+ individuals aged 45 years or older.

Because of the success of antiretroviral therapy, many HIV+ individuals are now reaching their 50s and 60s. There has been some suggestion that long-term HIV infection may be associated with developing degenerative brain diseases such as dementia.

In conjunction with St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of New South Wales, NeuRA’s Dr Lucette Cyscique and Prof Lindy Rae are conducting a study to estimate the prevalence of memory and concentration difficulties in older individuals with long-term HIV infection.

We are also determining the means by which  (if any) long-term HIV infection contributes to the incidence of an illness like Alzheimer’s disease.

OUR LATEST RESEARCH

Strategic timing of antiretroviral treatment neurology sub-study

The aim of the Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START) Neurology trial, is to investigate whether immediate initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) is superior to deferral of ART until the CD4+ declines below 350 cells/mm3 on neuropsychological functions.

Brain health now for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

This study is focused on how to determine the prevalence and incidence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in Canada and to assess cognitive rehabilitation/training strategies.

Binge drinking and the adolescent brain

This study is examining effects of binge alcohol consumption in 16-17 year olds using questionnaires, magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive testing. It aims to determine whether binge consumption of alcohol is impacting adolescent brain and cognitive development.

Cross-disciplinary assessment of chronic HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder

This study focuses on HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder mechanisms in chronic and virally suppressed HIV infection as well as in patients who are aging and are at higer risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Cross-culturally valid assessment of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

This project aims to develop a screening and standard neuropsychological battery that is cross-culturally valid for assessment of neurocognitive functions in HIV infection, in culturally and linguistically diverse Australians

CNS reservoirs in NeuroHIV

This project is dedicated to the identification and quantification of HIV reservoirs biomarkers in the Central Nervous System.

What else is happening in NeuroHIV research at NeuRA?

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

'I've got the best job for you dad. Your shaky arm will be perfect for it!'

Children… honest and insightful. Their innocence warms the heart. But what words do you use to explain to a child that daddy has an incurable brain disease? What words tell them that in time he may not be able to play football in the park, let alone feed himself? What words help them understand that in the later stages, dementia may also strike? Aged just 36, this was the reality that faced Steve Hartley. Parkinson's disease didn't care he was a fit, healthy, a young dad and devoted husband. It also didn't seem to care his family had no history of it. The key to defeating Parkinson's disease is early intervention, and thanks to a global research team, led by NeuRA, we're pleased to announce that early intervention may be possible. Your support, alongside national and international foundations Shake it Up Australia and the Michael J Fox Foundation, researchers have discovered that a special protein, found in people with a family history of the disease increases prior to Parkinson’s symptoms developing. This is an incredible step forward, because it means that drug therapies, aimed at blocking the increase in the protein, can be administered much earlier – even before symptoms strike. The next step is to understand when to give the drug therapies and which people will most benefit from it. But we need your help. A gift today will support vital research and in time help medical professionals around the world treat Parkinson’s disease sooner, with much better health outcomes. Thank you, in advance, for your support.  
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