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Causes of Lipodystrophy May Lie in the Brain

Causes of Lipodystrophy May Lie in the Brain

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The effects of antiretroviral drugs on brain regions controlling the amount of fat under the skin tissue and around the body's internal organs could be the cause of HIV-related lipodystrophy, Dutch researchers theorize in the November 22 edition of The Lancet. They suggest that the effects on the brain's network of neurones that controls the activity of the organs and tissues cause the 'sympathetic' component of brain regions controlling fat concentrations under the skin to become more active than the 'parasympathetic' brain regions. This disparity causes a loss of fat under the skin, the researches theorize. Conversely, the drugs may have an opposite effect on areas of the brain controlling internal fat levels, activating the parasympathetic regions and causing a buildup of fat around internal organs.

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