Journal of Neurology

, Volume 243, Issue 9, pp 648–651

Mitochondrial DNA levels in the brain of HIV-positive patients after zidovudine therapy


  • F. D. Davison
    • Department of NeuropathologyInstitute of Neurology
  • B. J. Sweeney
    • Department of Clinical NeurologySt. Mary's Hospital
  • F. Scaravilli
    • Department of NeuropathologyInstitute of Neurology
Original Communication

DOI: 10.1007/BF00878661

Cite this article as:
Davison, F.D., Sweeney, B.J. & Scaravilli, F. J Neurol (1996) 243: 648. doi:10.1007/BF00878661


Previous studies have shown that the antiviral nucleoside analogue zidovudine (AZT) depletes levels of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in muscle of patients on long-term therapy. In this study we found that in a similar group of eight HIV-positive patients receiving AZT there was no depletion of brain mtDNA. This finding suggests that AZT related mtDNA depletion is not a contributing factor in the HIV encephalopathy that occurs in a proportion of HIV positive patients receiving this antiviral agent.

Key words

Mitochondrial DNAHuman immunodeficiency virusZidovudineDementia
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996