AIDS and the Nervous System
What is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is primarily an immune system disorder but
it can also affect the nervous system and lead to serious neurological problems. AIDS develops in the most
advanced stages of the HIV infection. In some cases, it could take up to ten years for AIDS to develop after
being infected with HIV. You may not feel any effects after you have been infected with the HIV virus.
You may feel achy, feel feverish, and just feel bad, but it often is blamed on the common cold or the flu.
Although AIDS does not invade the nerve cells it can jeopardize the nerve cells health and performance.
Inflammation can occur in the brain and the spinal cord. This can cause behavioral changes, forgetfulness,
weakness, and severe headaches. It can also cause confusion and loss of sensation in the extremities.
Researchers have proved that AIDS or HIV infection can make a difference in how the brain processes information and
learns new things.
Other severe neurological problems that can affect an AIDS patient is seizures, shingles, lack of coordination,
and difficulty in walking. Other serious complications include depression, anxiety, fever, and the virus
destroys vision and the loss of brain tissue. The patient may fall into a coma. These symptoms will get
progressively worse as the disease develops. Neurological complications affect over 40 percent of AIDS
patients. They can develop no matter what the age of the patient, but affects children faster than
adults. Children may have a loss of previously known skills, confusion, and delays in development and may
other serious problems. They may experience bacterial infections more often than normal, have a slower growth
rate, and have recurring eye problems.
What causes these neurological problems and complications in AIDS patients? The HIV virus causes many,
some cancers and other infections that would not normally affect healthy individuals cause others. Sometimes
it is the drugs that are given to treat AIDS that causes serious neurological problems. Opportunistic
infections cause by bacteria, fungi and other simple viruses can cause trouble with concentration, memory, and
problems with attention span. The HIV virus may indirectly cause other neurological problems.
Did You Know?
What is the cause of
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
The best and most certain way of not getting HIV or AIDS is to avoid contact with body fluids
from an infected person. Contact can occur during homosexual or heterosexual activity. Body fluids
find an opening in the body and the infection is passed to another person. The virus can get into
the vagina, anus, mouth, and eyes.
A person with an open cut or wound can allow the virus into their body. If you are in the
medical profession, it is urgent you take precautions while handling patients. Gloves, masks, and
goggles are necessary to protect from accidental infection of the HIV virus.
Research on the HIV virus and the disease of AIDS has been continuing since the early 1980’s.
The epidemic is growing and scientists and researchers are constantly working on vaccines and new
therapies for AIDS and other HIV associated conditions. There are over 30 HIV vaccines are being
tested on humans and there are many other drugs for HIV or AIDS related infections are still being
developed and tested by major laboratories. Researchers are still trying to trace how the disease
progresses and how it damages the immune system.
ADC, or AIDS dementia complex usually occurs in patients with the advanced form of HIV infection. The
symptoms of ADC include inflammation of the brain or encephalitis. This can cause a severe decline in brain
function including lack of concentration, memory problems, and a slow loss of motor function. Also affected
is coordination and the ability to move freely. If this neurological problem is left untreated, it is often
Neurological problems make it more urgent that you receive treatment for the HIV infection as soon as
possible. If you know you are at risk, you have unprotected sex with someone who is infected, or you have
used drug paraphernalia that is not sterile, it’s important you have regular screening for the HIV virus.
Early detection will help you get the treatment you need and possibly prevent you from developing these and other
serious neurological problems. What is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, as you can see the
are many answers to this question.