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Dementia Due to HIV Infection (cont.)

Dementia Due to HIV Infection Causes

AIDS dementia complex is caused by the HIV virus itself, not by the opportunistic infections that occur commonly in the course of the disease. We do not know exactly how the virus damages brain cells.

HIV may affect the brain through several mechanisms. Viral proteins may damage nerve cells directly or by infecting inflammatory cells in the brain and spinal cord. HIV may then induce these cells to damage and disable nerve cells.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/5/2014
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Physicians frequently encounter neurologic and psychiatric complications in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

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