News tips for the June 24 issue of Neurology

June 23, 2003

Patient Page tackles HIV-Associated Dementia

HIV-associated dementia (HAD), the most common AIDS-related brain disorder, is the topic of a new "Patient Page" article on the Neurology journal web site, http://www.neurology.org. (Online 6/24/03)

The article describes for a lay public what HAD is, its symptoms, treatments, and new findings. The print journal features an article by X. Luo, MD, of the First China Hospital Medical University in Shenyang, China, along with colleagues in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, theorizing that HAD is associated with the presence of MDM, an infection-fighting white blood cell.

Watch for a news release on the Luo et al study by NIH, which funded the study.

Lyme Disease featured

Two scientific studies (both double-blind and placebo-controlled) and an editorial focusing on this chronic fatigue syndrome explore whether treating post-Lyme disease with antibiotics helps. It doesn't, according to these papers. Editorial author Israel Steiner, MD, of Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel, poses the question whether post-Lyme exists: "Without an objective surrogate--preferably biological-- marker to enable recruitment of homogenous study groups, every attempt to address clinical questions in the realm of post Lyme disease is doomed, almost per definition, to leave these questions unsettled."

Researchers identify possible link between insulin and dementia

In a study led by researchers at medical schools in Seattle, WA, and Madison, WI, it was learned that insulin may warrant further study as a risk factor and potential therapeutic target of Alzheimer's disease.

IV infusion of insulin was found to acutely raise beta amyloid, the aggregation of which is a core neuropathologic feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of normal adults. CSF is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain.

In a related editorial, Douglas Galasko, MD, University of California, San Diego, notes that diabetes increases the risk of AD and this risk is highest in diabetics treated with insulin. Why? Diabetes causes vascular disease, which in turn worsens dementia; diabetes is associated with glycation of proteins, which could promote oxidative stress; there may be a link between amyloid and insulin in that insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) also degrades soluble beta amyloid.

To obtain these embargoed articles, contact Kathy Stone, 651-695-2763, kstone@aan.com, or Marilee Reu, 651-695-2789, mreu@aan.com.
-end-
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, autism and multiple sclerosis.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its web site at http://www.aan.com.

American Academy of Neurology

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