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Decline in Platelet Count Precedes Onset of HIV Dementia

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to interested patients the HIV-related dementia accounts for about 5% of all AIDS-defining illnesses in the U.S., so that understanding its pathogenesis remains important.

o Note that this study suggests that a sharp decline in platelet counts precedes the appearance of dementia by about six months to a year.

BALTIMORE, Sept. 11 -- The development of HIV-related dementia within the ensuing six or 12 months appears to be signaled by a sharp decline in platelet count.

The finding, from a prospective cohort study of 146 HIV patients, offers an easily measured marker for HIV dementia, which accounts for about 5% of AIDS-defining illnesses in the U.S., reported Lynn Wachtman, D.V.M., of Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, in the September issue of Archives of Neurology.

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