HIV patients may risk Alzheimer’s
Last Updated: 2004-07-22
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Patients infected with HIV may have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers said on Thursday.
Dr. Cristian Achim of the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues examined the brains of about 160 people infected with HIV and found that two-thirds contained deposits of beta-amyloid protein similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s patients. All the patients had been taking highly active anti-retroviral therapy.
Achim told a news conference his team found "abundant deposits" of the protein in the brains they examined. It was not clear whether the disease or the medications were the cause, he told attendees at the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.
Achim said the findings would now be tested using brain imaging techniques that can detect the accumulation of beta-amyloid. Alzheimer’s researchers are experimenting with techniques such as positron emission tomography or PET to see if it can help them diagnose Alzheimer’s before symptoms develop.