HIV-related Memory Loss Linked To Alzheimer's Protein

July 09, 2010

New research published in Neurology suggests that amyloid, one of the proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease, may also play a role in the memory loss of people with HIV.

Researchers examined cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and found that the amount of amyloid was lower in Alzheimer's patients and HIV patients with memory problems, when compared to HIV patients without memory problems and healthy people. The other protein associated with Alzheimer's, Tau, was unchanged. Lower amounts of amyloid in the CSF suggest that amyloid processing in the brain is also affected.

'Alzheimer's like symptoms experienced by people with HIV can be frightening and confusing but this research builds on our understanding of why these symptoms occur and may help people get a more accurate diagnosis.

'Using spinal fluid techniques to diagnose dementia adds great value to research yet the UK lags far behind other countries who routinely use them. We must invest more in dementia research and increase the use of spinal fluid techniques if the UK is to lead the fight against dementia.'

Dr Susanne Sorensen
Head of Research

Alzheimer's Society

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