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Researchers identify toehold for HIV's assault on brain
Date:11/14/2008

py and immediately are less confused and have improved brain functioning, but the effect generally fades as the disease progresses.

In their experiment, Gelbard's team was able to stop the harmful effects of Tat in neurons from mice by using the drug dantrolene, which blocks the ryanodine receptor. While the work offers a new target in the search for a drug that could be used in people to stop the effects of HIV dementia, Gelbard cautions that dantrolene has side effects and would not be appropriate.

"A lot of people are under the impression that HIV has been 'solved,' that somehow, it's no longer a problem. But the disease never went away, and it's a huge problem," said Gelbard, who is professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Microbiology and Immunology.

"There are a fair number of similarities between this brain disease and other diseases, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's," said Gelbard. "We hope that what we are learning can be applied to other diseases as well."


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Contact: Tom Rickey
tom_rickey@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-7954
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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