In 10 of the 21 patients (48%), cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of the protein had fallen to normal after three months of HAART, and the median level dropped to 340 ng/L, interquartile range 250 to 4070 ng/L, (P< 0.001).
Among the sixteen patients in this group who were followed at about one year, only four, all of whom had been diagnosed with AIDS dementia complex, still had abnormal concentrations of neurofilament light protein. Of these four, one had normalization of levels after two years on HAART; the remaining three did not have additional lumbar punctures, and thus could not be evaluated.
Among the 32 patients with normal levels of neurofilament light protein at baseline, all but one continued to have normal levels at follow-up.
"These effects on CSF neurofilament light protein were seen in association with clinical improvement in AIDS dementia complex patients, decreases in plasma and CSF HIV-1 RNA and CSF neopterin, and increases in blood CD4 T-cell counts," the authors wrote.