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HIV-associated sensory neuropathy: risk factors and genetics.

Kamerman PR, Wadley AL, Cherry CL

  • Journal Current pain and headache reports

  • Published 12 Sep 2012

  • Volume 16

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination 226-36

  • DOI 10.1007/s11916-012-0257-z


HIV-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN) remains a common neurological complication of HIV infection despite the introduction of effective antiretroviral therapies. Exposure to neurotoxic antiretroviral drugs and increasing age have consistently been identified as risk factors for HIV-SN, while comorbid conditions with underlying predisposition to cause peripheral neuropathy (eg, diabetes mellitus, malnutrition, isoniazid exposure), ethnicity, and increasing height also have been implicated. Genetic association studies have identified genes affecting mitochondrial function and genes involved in the inflammatory response that modify the risk for HIV-SN among patients exposed to neurotoxic antiretrovirals. However, there is a lack of data on clinical, demographic, and genetic risk factors for HIV-SN in the modern era, with the rate of HIV-SN remaining unacceptably high despite the introduction of safer medications. Thus, more work is required to identify the principal factors that increase an individual's risk for HIV-SN so that effective preventative or therapeutic strategies can be implemented.