The neurovirology program specializes in the evaluation, treatment and research of immunological disorders that effect the nervous system as well as viral infections that invade the brain. Specifically, multiple sclerosis (which is an immunological disorder of the nervous system) and AIDS (which is an acquired immune deficiency due to HIV infection) form the bulk of the disorders under this program.
Several other infections that invade the brain in immune deficient patients with AIDS are also treated, as well as primary disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord and nerves caused by HIV infection alone are treated in the neuro-AIDS clinic.
The faculty in this program are involved in a number of clinical and basic-science research projects that are all targeted to develop new modes of treatment and to better understand the pathogenesis of these disorders.
Patients may be referred for evaluation of the neurological complications of AIDS and other infectious diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, viral encephalitis, HTLV-I myelopathy, CNS lyme disease and syphilis. Additionally, we evaluate and manage the neurological complications of cerebral vasculitis, including systemic lupus erythematosus, polyarteritis nodosa, temporal arteritis and others.
We offer experimental therapies for many AIDS-related neurological disorders, some through the NIH-supported Neurologic AIDS Research Consortium of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and others in collaboration with private industry.
The department provides consultative neuro-AIDS care to individuals in western Tennessee through the Comprehensive Care Center at Vanderbilt University Hospital.
Most commonly, patients are referred through their primary care provider or neurologist.