The picture is clearing as to why people living with HIV so commonly suffer from dementia and other neurocognitive disorders. Researchers at the University of Alberta studied the relationship by comparing the brain tissue of 10 HIV patients with no neurological symptoms to the brain tissue of 20 patients suffering from HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Their research found that a number of critical peroxisomal proteins that vitally important for brain development and function were virtually absent in the brains of HIV patients. Approximately one out of every four people living with HIV will suffer from HAND. Symptoms include difficulty with short-term memory and decision-making, behavioral changes and slower motor skills. The researchers believe their research could lead to new biomarkers to rapidly diagnose HAND, monitor the progression of HIV in patients, and predict patients’ likelihood of developing dementia.