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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2001 Jun;939:405-12.

Antiviral medications improve cerebrovascular perfusion in HIV+ non-drug users and HIV+ cocaine abusers.

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  • 1Molecular Neuropsychiatry Section, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Antiviral medications have been useful in delaying the time course of HIV infection. Antiviral medications have also been reported to delay or reduce symptoms associated with AIDS related dementia and to improve cortical perfusion. The mechanism for this improvement is unclear. Thus, this report studies the effects of antiviral medications on cerebral blood flow velocity in HIV+ cocaine abusers, HIV+ control individuals and appropriate control individuals. Thirty-two unmedicated HIV+ individuals (28 cocaine abusers and 4 control individuals), 22 HIV+ individuals using antiviral medications (16 cocaine abusers and 6 HIV+ control individuals), 47 HIV- cocaine abusers, and 27 control HIV- subjects were studied. Blood flow velocities were determined for the anterior and middle cerebral arteries using transcranial Doppler sonography. HIV+ individuals on antiviral medications had lower pulsatility values, suggesting decreased resistance in the cerebral blood vessels, in comparison to HIV+ individuals not taking antiviral medications. HIV+ cocaine abusers and HIV+ control individuals using antiviral medications had pulsatility values similar to HIV- control subjects. Antiviral medications appear to reduce these cerebrovascular perfusion deficits in HIV+ individuals. The antiviral medications appear to have a direct neuroprotective effect in addition to their antiviral effects. The neuroprotective role of antiviral medications requires further investigation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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