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Medical News & Perspectives
February 11, 1998

Protease Inhibitors May Reverse AIDS Dementia

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JAMA. 1998;279(6):419. doi:10.1001/jama.279.6.419-JMN0211-3-1

ALTHOUGH HIGHLY effective in blocking viral replication and improving the immune function of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, protease inhibitor drugs are not able to cross the blood-brain barrier in therapeutic amounts. Therefore, these drugs were not expected to be effective in treating encephalopathy in patients with AIDS. However, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study conducted at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn, suggests that protease inhibitor therapy combined with drugs like zidovudine may prevent or even reverse the progression of HIV encephalopathy.

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