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HIV memory loss linked to lack of Alzheimer's disease protein

HIV memory loss linked to lack of Alzheimer's disease protein
9th December 2009

Over half of HIV patients are known to experience memory problems and cognitive problems as they get older, with a new study finding a strong link with Alzheimer's disease.

The Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis found that HIV-related memory issues share a major bond with Alzheimer's-related dementia, with low levels of the defining protein - amyloid beta - being found in the spinal fluid.

Dr Susanne Sorensen, responding to the study, said that the dementia-esque symptoms which many people with HIV experience can be both "frightening and confusing", though more research must be done.

She said of the current state of affairs: "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."

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