Lucette Cysique and her colleagues at the University of NSW and St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney are continuing their study into whether HIV increases the risk for developing memory and attention difficulties in middle-aged people.
According to Dr Cysique, 20% of those studied to date show a ‘clinically meaningful level’ of neurocognitive impairment despite having well-controlled virusA small infective organism which is incapable of reproducing outside a host cell.. This rate is in line with other international studies.
What is concerning, however, is that a larger number of those studied show some sign of ongoing neuro-inflammation despite normal neurocognitive functioning.
She has also found that cardiovascular risks have a moderate impact on some people’s memory functions.
These initial findings mean that ongoing analysis is important and the researchers are hopeful that participants will come back for the second session of the study.
‘I am indebted to the participants who give their time,’ said Dr. Cysique.
‘I hope that the feedback we provide can help them to have a better follow-up of their cognitive health and that they can discuss this further with their doctor.
‘In the future, I want our results to be used to provide guidance into some more concrete helps such as rehabilitation strategies,’ she said.
To better understand this issue, HIV negative volunteers are needed.
Participation involves attending two sessions, 18 months apart. Each visit consists of a neuropsychological test of attention, memory, visuo-spatial and language functions and a head MRI scan (lying quietly in the MRI scanner for 45 minutes).
If you are someone without HIV, over 45 and in good health and would like to take part in this important project, please contact Dr. Cysique on (02) 8382 4104 or at email@example.com