June 25, 2003
The researchers used a relatively new technique called proteomics protein fingerprinting to evaluate protein activity in infection-fighting white blood cells. The researchers looked at blood samples from 21 HIV-positive Hispanic women, some with and some without dementia. Their findings were compared to similar blood samples from 10 healthy Hispanic women without HIV.
In all, the team evaluated 177 proteins. Of that group, 38 exhibited different activity levels in women with dementia and those without dementia, according to the report.
"The idea that a blood test can be used with some precision to aid more conventional testing is quite novel and may prove to be important if further defined," said Gendelman. Still, protein patterns may change over time so patients need to be followed, he said. "Groups of proteins may be predictive but others may actually be involved in the disease process," Gendelman said. "Differentiating these groups of proteins is important." "The data is preliminary and much more need[s] to be done before it can be used in any clinical setting," he added.
The full report, "Macrophage Proteomic Fingerprinting Predicts HIV-1-Associated Cognitive Impairment," is published in Neurology (2003;60:1931-1937).
06.23.03; Keith Mulvihill