Indexed on: 01 Jan '96Published on: 01 Jan '96Published in: Annual review of neuroscience
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects the nervous system in the majority of patients, causing a variety of neurological syndromes throughout the course of the disease. This review focuses on the effects of HIV in the central nervous system, with an emphasis on HIV-associated dementia. HIV-associated dementia occurs in a subset of patients with AIDS; it is unclear why these patients and not all patients develop the disease. Several factors are likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated dementia, including neurotoxins released from the virus and/or infected macrophages and microglia, immunologic dysregulation of macrophage function, and specific genetic strains of HIV. These factors, and their possible interactions, are discussed.