The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is neuroinvasive and can be neurovirulent. Indeed, 20-30% of individuals with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) develop cognitive and motor dysfunction (termed the AIDS dementia complex or HIV dementia) coincident with advanced immunosuppression. Despite massive research efforts to discern viral neuropathogenic mechanisms, much remains incompletely understood. Recently, we and others developed animal model systems to elucidate how HIV infection within the brain can lead to impairment of central nervous system function. In this report, we evaluate each of the published animal models for their ability to mirror HIV dementia. Ease of handling and expense were also under consideration. Ultimately, studies in animal systems should permit a better understanding of the nature of HIV-1-induced neurological injury and aid in the development of effective treatments for this dreaded complication of HIV infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience