Mind Matters

Neurological Complications of HIV-AIDS – Treatment of neurological complications due to AIDS

HIV-AIDS basically affects immune system. Along with immune system it also affects nervous system. Both central nervous system (CNS) as well as peripheral nervous system (nerves outside these organs and related to muscles) are affected by HIV. Luckily many of neurological complication of HIV have become rarer with the advent of HAART ((Highly Active Antiretroviral therapy) and substantial improvement witnessed in the general health condition of HIV infected people over the years.

Neurological Complications of HIV-AIDS

The neurological complications of HIV depend on the stage of the HIV infection:

<span style="font-size:medium;"Early stage neurological complications of HIV – AIDS

The following are the most prominent early stage complication:

  • Aseptic meningitis (Infection of the lining of the brain)
  • Acute encephalopathy( changed structure and function)with seizure and confusion
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome (progressive weakness and loss of sense in the arms and legs)
  • Cranial nerve palsies (paralysis) such as Bell’s palsy
  • Shingles(viral infection of skin)

Mid stage neurological complications

  • Cognitive impairment (loss of thinking ability)
  • Distal sensory polyneuropathy (peripheral nerve damage, Most common)
  • Myelopathy
  • Myopathy

Late Stage neurological complications

  • HIV encephalopathy (dementia- loss of memory, ability of planning…)
  • CNS taxoplasmosis
  • Cytomegalo virus (CMV)  infection
  • Primary CNS lymphoma
  • Progressive multiple leukoencephalopathy (PML)

Treatment of Neurological Complications of HIV-AIDS</span)

No single cure exists for neurological complications in HIV. Medication ranges from analgesics to antiepileptic drugs, opiates, corticosteroids, and some classes of antidepressants.

Other Treatment Methods for Neurological Complications of HIV-AIDS

The following are the other treatments available for dealing with the neurological complication of HIV:

  • Radiation therapy or chemotherapy
  • Antifungal and antimalarial drugs
  • Antibiotics such as penicillin
  • Aggressive antiviral therapy
  • HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral therapy)

Prognosis for Neurological Complications for HIV-AIDS

Prognosis has improved over the years especially after the arrival of HAART.


Early diagnosis and timely treatment of neurological complications associated with HIV is possible if a HIV infected person consults a neurologist, in time.

1 response to Neurological Complications of HIV-AIDS – Treatment of neurological complications due to AIDS

  1. HIV is a disease that is still incurable today. We should always practice safe sex and also educate our people how to avoid the spread of this disease.

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