Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: Increased frequency of Alpha-synuclein in the substantia nigra in Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection.
Authors: Khanlou N, Moore DJ, Chana G, Cherner M, Lazzaretto D, Dawes S, Grant I, Masliah E, Everall I, and the HNRC Group
Year: 2009
Publication: Journal of NeuroVirology
Volume: 15 Issue: 2 Pages: 131-138
Abstract:The frequency of neurodegenerative markers among long surviving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals is unknown, therefore, the present study investigated the frequency of alpha-synuclein, beta-amyloid, and HIV-associated brain pathology in the brains of older HIV-infected individuals. We examined the substantia nigra of 73 clinically well-characterized HIV-infected individuals aged 50 to 76 years from the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium. We also examined the frontal and temporal cortical regions of a subset of 36 individuals. Neuritic alpha-synuclein expression was found in 16% (12/73) of the substantia nigra of the HIV + cases and none of the older control cases (0/18). beta-Amyloid deposits were prevalent and found in nearly all of the HIV + cases (35/36). Despite these increases of degenerative pathology, HIV-associated brain pathology was present in only 10% of cases. Among older HIV + adults, HIV-associated brain pathology does not appear elevated; however, the frequency of both alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid is higher than that found in older healthy persons. The increased prevalence of alpha-synuclein and beta-amyloid in the brains of older HIV-infected individuals may predict an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative disease.

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