Summary – The effectiveness and access of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder treatments

Eighty hours later, I have completed my Freshman Monroe Summer Research project. My final product comes in the form of a literature review of HIV-associated cognitive disorder (HAND) research and treatments. Our knowledge of HIV infection in the brain and how it causes HAND has increased significantly over the past twenty years. Understanding of HAND’s pathogenesis, risk factors, comorbidities, and biomarkers is crucial to the development and assessment of combination antiretroviral therapies (cART). Though cART has become commonplace in developed countries like the U.S., many issues still need to be resolved before this treatment is considered fully effective against HAND. Specifically, poor BBB penetration leads to incomplete viral suppression and drives neurodegeneration. Neural damage can also occur due to prolonged exposure to inflammatory responses. Additional problems include drug resistance, drug-drug interactions, adverse effects, comorbidities, and adherence. Recent research suggests the importance of early cART initiation, so this has become another area of focus. This is especially true in resource-limited settings, where late initiation contributes to lower cART efficacy. Groups like the World Health Organization outline strategies for successful large-scale cART initiation, taking into consideration the specific challenges that under-developed countries face. Scientists, doctors, and humanitarians alike work to improve cART, make it more effective against HAND, and increase access across all global settings. While cART is the main HIV and HAND treatment and therefore the most researched, adjuvant therapies like Minocycline and cognitive rehabilitation techniques such as transcranial direct stimulation are also being explored. The research conducted over the past twenty years on HIV and how it impacts the brain has informed our current treatment strategies. However, this work will only be complete once cART, or some other treatment, is fully effective against HAND for all HIV+ individuals.

“If We Do Not Know Ourselves, How Can We Know Other People?’: A Study of the Isolated Self and Communal Consciousness in Four Novels of Virginia Woolf” (Project Summary)

After about one hundred hours of research, I have completed my paper. This research process was a wonderful learning experience, and it helped me learn how to narrow down my topic and write on several novels at once.

[Read more…]

Update 3 and Summary – Optimization of Tribe Pathways

This is the final update and summary of the project thus far. I am happy to say data transcription and mapping are finally finished.  Below is the simplified map I created based off of the data I collected on campus. Compared to the official campus map available on the William and Mary website, the new set of data includes multiple new paths, does not show buildings or pathways which no longer exist, and contains data on the features of each pathway in the code. This new map is not intended to be used to navigate but offers the opportunity to display the data I collected.

[Read more…]

El americano no deseado: an Analysis of the Negative Opinion of Donald Trump among the Spanish Media (Post Three)

Due to the nature of my research, many, if not all, of the quotes are in Spanish.

In my previous posts I stated my findings for the top three most popular themes in regard to the media’s reaction to the Trump presidency. Among all of the articles mentioning Donald Trump, the top three most prominent issues were his environmental stance, his unique character, and his foreign relations policy. In most of the articles pertaining to these issues, a clear point of comparison to Barack Obama developed. For this reason, I argue that the major differences in the three topics listed above between Donald Trump and his predecessor is the main reason for the overwhelmingly negative opinion of Trump among the Spanish media.  In this post, I plan to discuss some of the many articles that led me to these findings.

[Read more…]