HIV on your mind?
Literally. HIV on the mind. And all across the remainder of the neuroaxis.
In that interview, Dr. Berger (below) discusses his experience with the history of this relatively recently discovered pathogen. It’s quite an impressive story actually, and one that we did not get to focus too deeply on given the time allotted for an interview on neurologic complications of HIV. From his tour of duty in Miami, to his research in Kentucky, to Philadelphia, he has seen it all. One of the world’s foremost authorities on Dr. Berger can recite the rich history of the virus and the clumsiness with which we have attempted to manage it.
Some of the complications of HIV in the nervous system may quickly follow inoculation, such as acute meningitis, whereas others reveal a more chronic decline in immunologic function. Directly toxic effect of HIV (and some of its treatments) may result in neuropathy or myopathy, a vasculopathy with greater risk of stroke, or affect the dorsal and lateral horns of the spinal cord, resulting in a progressive myelopathy. Opportunistic infections like progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy are particularly challenging, especially with reconstitution of the immune system with antiretroviral therapy. The road to treatment is paved with a myriad of complications that can prove debilitating or life threatening. Check out this episode on HIV in the nervous system if you want to take in some of the details.
The content in this episode was vetted and approved by Joseph Berger.
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