Cognitive problems caused by HIV infection

Cognitive problems that effect up to 60% of HIV-infected people may be caused by the virus infecting cells that protect the brain from toxins, according to research from Yeshiva University.

A small percentage of cells (astrocytes) that protect the blood-brain barrier, which keeps harmful substances from entering the brain, can become infected. Those cells then emit toxic signals, killing other astrocytes and weakening the barrier. As a result harmful toxins are allowed into the brain, possibly causing neurological issues such as memory loss and dementia.

Read more at Yeshiva University