Drug combo also helps stop brain damage caused by HIV

November 14th, 2007 - 1:53 am ICT by admin  
For the study, Swedish researchers examined 53 men and women with an average age of 38. The participants were given a combination of several antiretroviral drugs known as Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) for one year.

Researchers tested the participants’ cerebrospinal fluid before and after treatment to observe if there were elevated levels of a particular biomarker for brain injury called neurofilament light protein.

The study found that 21 people had high levels of the protein, suggestive of brain damage, at the beginning of treatment. However, after three months of taking HAART, those high levels of protein fell to normal levels in nearly half of the patients. After one year of treatment, only four people still had high levels of this particular biomarker for brain damage.

In addition, for the 32 patients who had normal levels of the protein at the beginning of the study, all but one remained normal at follow-up.

“This type of treatment appears to halt the neurodegenerative process caused by HIV. This study confirms that neurofilament light protein serves as a useful marker in monitoring brain injury in people with HIV and in evaluating the effectiveness of HAART,” said study author

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