The Effects of HIV-Associated Dementia to Neurological Brain Functions

The Effects of HIV-Associated Dementia to Neurological Brain Functions

Abstract

Present day research programmes have shown that the life expectancy of people living with HIV has increased. The increased life expectancy is due to the advent of antiretroviral therapy that was introduced by researchers not so long ago. Even though life expectancy has gone up, medical practitioners have had several encounters with the neuropsychiatric presentation of HIV.  The HIV- triggered neurotoxin cascades present in the central nervous system (CNS) has presented various patients with cognitive deficits. The illness presents patients having depression in the early stages as well as in the critical full-blown stages whose pathogenesis has not been able to be clearly stated. The various Psychological disorders among patients can result in severe conditions that may predispose the patient to insanity and even death. It is therefore essential to have a better understanding and awareness of these neuropsychiatric manifestations even as the quality of life becomes advanced when it comes to managing the chronic disease.

Keywords: HIV, Antiretroviral, Neurocognitive, Central Nervous System (CNS), Minor cognitive and minor dysfunctions (MCMD)

 

 

 

Introduction

More than forty people all over the world are estimated to be living with HIV with the most common being HIV type 1 (De Almeida, Kamat, Cherner, Umlauf, Ribeiro, De Pereira, and Ellis, 2017). This report is one that was given by the Joint United Nations Program. Approximately five hundred and forty thousand adult and one million children in North America are said to be living with the disease (De Almeida et al., 2017).  The number of women infected with the virus across the world has also rapidly increased over the past few years. As a result of the rapid increase, women have accounted for half of the world's population living with the disease. Life expectancy has improved; however after the introduction and advancements in treating the illness. Despite these improvements, medics are still having a problem of dealing with psychiatric manifestations of the disease in the neurons of the patients. Minor cognitive and motor disorder (MCMD) and HIV- associated dementia (HAD) are the most common forms of neurological manifestations. Clinicians should practice appropriate intervention such as early diagnosis on seropositive patients exhibiting these syndromes. In this article, we are going to look at some of the neuropsychiatric manifestations of HIV as well as treatment methods and diagnosis.

Etiology of the disease

In 1981, researchers reported the first cases of HIV. Two years later, there was an identification of the virus and reported. However, in the early stages of the disease, various neurological conditions were able to be detected. Research has shown that HIV can cross into the blood-brain barrier. The crossing over is because HIV can be secluded from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and can also exist in the brain tissue. HIV-associated dementia incidences were reported to be approximately twenty cases per a thousand person-years. With the invasion of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the late 1990S, the cases dropped to around ten per a thousand person-years. There was also a significant reduction in opportunistic infections in the central nervous system (CNS) (Woods et al., 2016). Other qualified researchers also noticed a reduction in the spread of opportunistic nervous infections.  The HIV prevalence, however, was detected after an autopsy report to have increased after the invasion of the antiretroviral therapy. This increase clearly shows that there was a continuous infiltration of HIV in the central nervous system despite the improvement in therapeutic alternatives. HIV mov

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