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Study shows that exercise helps brain function of HIV patients

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

Research from the University of California, San Diego, revealed that exercise may help the brain function of people diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus. For those living with the auto-immune disorder, memory and other brain functions often falter as a result of the disease.

The disease
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since the first reported cases in June 1981, approximately 1.7 million people in the U.S. have been infected with HIV. Of those, roughly 1.2 million were still alive as of 2008. The CDC also reported that about one in five people who carry HIV or AIDS is not aware of it and thus can spread the disease. A lab test can reveal whether someone carries the illness.

The results of the study, published in the Journal of NeuroVirology, showed that those with HIV who exercised regularly were about half as likely to have certain issues with brain malfunction. Those who exercised often had better memory and could better process information than those diagnosed with the disease who did not. Many people who have HIV experience some form of brain impairment, so the findings could potentially be helpful to many who have the sexually transmitted disease.

"Exercise as a modifiable lifestyle behavior may reduce or potentially prevent neurocognitive impairment in HIV-infected persons. Physical exercise, together with other modifiable lifestyle factors such as education, social engagement, cognitive stimulation and diet could be fruitful interventions to support people living with HIV," David J. Moore, PhD, one of the researchers in the study, said in a statement, according to The Huffington Post.

The study included 355 HIV patients. Doctors asked the patients if they had exercised within the three days prior to the study in order to separate them into groups based on whether they were significant exercisers or not. The participants were then studied based on their brain function, information processing and memory. About half of people with the illness have some kind of negative effect in their brain processing abilities.

For conditions like HIV, it is important to be regularly tested. Anonymous STD tests are available for those who wish to secure a discreet lab test online for any illnesses. HIV can be carried for up to 10 years without showing any symptoms, so it is very important to be aware of the illness.

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