Canadian discovery promises treatment for HIV dementia

VANCOUVER, CANADA -- Millions of HIV patients who suffer from dementia now have hope of a treatment, thanks to a breakthrough discovery by Canadian researchers.

Scientists from the University of Calgary in Alberta and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver have found that HIV triggers an enzyme in white blood cells that kills nerve cells in the brain. The enzyme, known as Metalloproteinase-2 or MMP2, changes a molecule required for normal brain growth and function. The altered molecule becomes highly toxic and destroys brain nerve cells, giving rise to symptoms of dementia.

It is the first study to unravel the mechanics of how dementia and memory loss is caused in HIV patients. In addition, the researchers also found they could block the toxic effects of MMP2 by using drugs already in clinical trials for cancer treatment.

"We now understand how this enzyme becomes a killing machine," says Christopher Overall, Canada Research Chair in Metalloproteinase Biology at UBC. "This is exciting news for patients because we think dementia can be slowed or stopped by adding another protease blocker to the drug cocktails now used to treat HIV."

More than 20 per cent of people with AIDS experience dementia during the course of their illness. A rapidly progressive condition, HIV dementia is characterized by impaired concentration and problem solving, forgetfulness, as well as motor abnormalities such as slurred speech and difficulties with movement.

The findings of the two-year study, completed with principal co-investigator Christopher Power of the University of Calgary, were reported recently in Nature Neuroscience. Members of Overall's lab at the UBC Faculty of Dentistry completed biochemical assays and identified the toxic protein that allowed Power, a neurologist who treats people with HIV dementia, to test MMP2 on HIV-infected cells.

"The team and I are revved up about the new avenues of potential treatment for pe

Contact: Hilary Thomson
University of British Columbia

Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. U of T researchers describe Joe Canadian tongue
2. Canadian neurologist wins highest award as American Stroke Association honors five
3. Canadian researchers important discovery in HIV research
4. Impact of 2002 Canadian forest fires felt 700 miles away in Baltimore, Maryland
5. Canadian researchers to develop smart drug to repair psychiatric disorders
6. McMaster named Canadian Research University of the Year
7. Safety of Canadian hospitals
8. Patient safety study provides first national estimate of adverse events in Canadian hospitals
9. Canadian doctors dont know costs of prescribed treatments
10. New Canadian study demonstrates clear survival benefit of treatment in trials and at large centres
11. Most Canadian hospitals below recommended standards

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/26/2016)... PLAINSBORO, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... same sources, yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, ... Oncology (EBO), a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on ... article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo ... such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm ... 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered ... Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick ... Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University ... for Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: