Role of psychiatric medications as adjunct therapy in the treatment of HIV associated neurocognitive disorders

Beau M. Ances, Scott L. Letendre, Terry Alexander, Ronald J. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Effective combination antiretroviral therapies (ART) have markedly lengthened survival among HIV infected individuals. In this long-surviving cohort, both psychiatric comorbidities and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remain common. Even mild neurocognitive impairment can significantly disrupt of activities of daily living and reduce quality of life. Persistence of HAND might reflect incomplete containment of HIV within the central nervous system (CNS) due to the limited penetration of most antiretrovirals (ARVs) across the blood-brain barrier. Recent data support that certain medications used to treat psychiatric comorbidities in HIV-infected individuals may also protect the brain from toxic byproducts of HIV replication and neuroinflammation. Two drug classes in particular, glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3b) inhibitors and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), may benefit individuals with HAND. Valproic acid (VPA) and lithium are potentially beneficial GSK-3b inhibitors. While the mechanism of benefit of SRIs in HAND remains unknown, evidence supports some benefit of citalopram and paroxetine. The present brief review focuses on these drugs and assesses their possible adjunct roles in the treatment of HIV-infected individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

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