See Inside August/September 2006

Stopping HIV Dementia

Harris Gelbard was doing his residency in pediatric neurology in 1988 when one of his colleagues was diagnosed with AIDS. The man developed every neurological and psychiatric complication in the book: stroke, Parkinson's, paranoia. Then a gripping dementia left the 34-year-old doctor mute and in diapers. He died shortly thereafter.

Since then, Gelbard has spent his career studying how AIDS affects the brain, and he recently discovered what could be the first treatment for HIV dementia: valproic acid, used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder.

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