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"Three key questions on neuroHIV: What is it? Why should we care? Can we do something?" Lecture by Olimpia Meucci, Drexel University College of Medicine, Pennsylvania (USA)

The visit of Olimpia Meucci is organised by Renato Brandimarti from the Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology.

Nov 28, 2017 from 05:30 PM to 07:30 PM

Where Sala Rossa, Palazzo Marchesini, via Marsala 26, Bologna

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Modern antiretroviral therapies have transformed HIV infection into a chronic manageable disorder. However, the neurological complications associated with the disease remain an important social and medical problem and are often overlooked. Though in treated patients the incidence of devastating neuropathology, like HIV associated dementia, has significantly decreased, less severe but still significant neurocognitive deficits, collectively known as HAND (HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders), have become more prevalent due to increased life expectancy.

Up to 50% of HIV-infected people eventually develop some form of cognitive or motor deficits, which can significantly alter life’s quality and negatively affect disease progression. Complicating or comorbidity factors, including substance abuse, further impact management of these patients. These different issues are difficult to address as the HIV-infected population is aging and chronic inflammation can persist for years or decades even with treatment. Thus, the need for neuroprotective treatments supporting mainstream antiretrovirals is still a pressing and poorly addressed need - partly halted by our incomplete understanding of the mechanisms underlying neuronal deficits caused by HIV infection.

This lecture will review the status of research in the field of neuroHIV and present current efforts toward development of novel therapeutic approaches to improve cognitive performance in HIV patients, which may also benefit other neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s’ and Parkinson’s disease.