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Decline in Platelet Count Precedes Onset of HIV Dementia

Decline in Platelet Count Precedes Onset of HIV Dementia

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.

But it is less clear what changes should be made in clinical management, wrote Dr. Wachtman and colleagues.

Although there was "a clear decline in median platelet count change from baseline to just before diagnosis" of HIV-related dementia in the study cohort, the researchers said, trends for individuals were less clear.

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