Insulin May Help Restore Neurocognitive Functions in HIV Patients
Delivering insulin within the nasal cavity helped prevent neuroinflammation, neuronal injury, and restored neurobehavioral function, a study in HIV mouse models showed.
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) describe a spectrum disorder of neurocognitive dysfunctions that result from HIV infection. Even people on antiretroviral therapy are at risk of developing neurocognitive dysfunction.
In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the authors examined the actions of insulin using in vivo and ex vivo models of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. The researchers observed an increased neuroinflammatory gene expression in brains of patients with HIV/AIDS. The insulin receptor was detected in both neurones and glia (non-neuronal cells that maintain homoeostasis, provide support and protection for neurones), but its expression remained untouched by the virus.
“Insulin exerted ex vivo and in vivo antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects in models of HAND, representing a new therapeutic option for patients with inflammatory or infectious neurodegenerative disorders including HAND,” the authors of the study concluded.