February 1, 2010
HIV Causes Premature Brain Aging
A new research is showing that people infected with the HIV virus have premature aging of the brain. The research has shown that blood flow in HIV patients is the same as uninfected people who are 15 to 20 years older. In the study, researchers used MRI scans to study blood flow in the brains of 26 people infected with HIV and 25 people who were not infected. The ages and the educational levels all of the individuals were similar. Researchers found reduced blood flow in the brains of younger people infected with HIV recently infected with HIV as well as the older patients. It is unclear whether this is caused by the virus, the medication to treat the disease, or both. Currently, 14 to 18 percent of all AIDS patients in the United States are over 50 years old and older generations have an increasing high rate of new infections. By 2015, more than half of all AIDS patients may be over 50 years old.