Research Sheds Light on Cause of Brain Deficits in HIV Patients

Some HIV patients experience memory loss and other neurological deficits, despite treatment, and new research suggests that the reason why is because the virus weakens the blood-brain barrier by infecting a small group of supporting brain cells called astrocytes.   The finding, published in the June 29 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, may help explain why 40 percent to 60 percent of HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy experience mild to moderate neurological problems such as learning difficulties.