According to a new study, children with HIV are at greater risk for impaired neurological development. The findings, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggest that early treatment of the virus may help to improve outcomes.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, followed a group of children with HIV from birth to age seven. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the team found that children who were not treated for the virus until age four or later had significantly lower white matter volumes in the brain compared to those who were treated early.
White matter volume is a measure of the amount of myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. Myelin helps to ensure that electrical signals travel smoothly and efficiently between neurons.
“This study demonstrates that even in the era of modern antiretroviral therapy, HIV infection during early childhood produces significant abnormalities in brain white matter development,” said Dr. Jens W. Fluegel, lead author of the study. “Our findings underscore the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of HIV in young children.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States. Of those, about 14 percent are children under the age of 13.
While there is no cure for HIV, treatments can help to control the virus and prevent its progression to AIDS. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to preventing the development of AIDS and its associated complications.
The findings of this study suggest that early treatment of HIV may also help to prevent or mitigate the neurological damage caused by the virus. This is particularly important in young children, who are more likely to experience significant neurological impairment as a result of HIV infection.
The CDC recommends that all children between the ages of two and 12 be tested for HIV if they have any risk factors for the virus. These risk factors include being born to a mother with HIV, living in a household with someone with HIV, or having had a blood transfusion.
If you have any concerns that your child may have been exposed to HIV, it is important to seek medical care immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV can help to improve outcomes and prevent the development of AIDS.
According to a recent study, children with HIV are at a greater risk for impaired neurological development. This is due to the fact that HIV can cause damage to the central nervous system.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa, looked at data from more than 1,000 children with HIV. The findings showed that those who had HIV were more likely to have lower IQ scores and problems with executive functioning, compared to children who did not have HIV.
Executive functioning skills are important for everyday tasks like planning, organizing, and making decisions. The findings of this study suggest that children with HIV may have difficulty with these skills.
This research is important because it highlights the need for early intervention and treatment for children with HIV. By providing these children with early treatment and support, we can help them reach their full potential.