The Fort Lauderdale based
has awarded a $60,000 grant to
Dr. Jose Gutierrez
, Assistant Professor of Neurology in the
Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease
Columbia University Medical Center
in New York. Dr. Gutierrez will use the grant to determine the relationship between HIV infection and cerebral arterial inflammation.
While it has become clear in recent years that HIV increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, the reasons why remain uncertain. With better drug therapies and an emphasis on improved care, many of those diagnosed with HIV are living significantly longer and are dying of non-AIDS-related conditions. While that is good news, vascular disease, such as stroke and heart attack, have emerged as a leading cause of mortality and disability in those with HIV.
Some research suggests that antiretroviral (ARV) therapies increase blood cholesterol and subsequently increase the risk of cholesterol plaques in arteries supplying blood to the heart, brain and other organs. These plaques can eventually rupture and create a blockage that can cause a heart attack, stroke, painful arm or leg arterial disease, notes Dr. Gutierrez.