Researchers from the UR Medical Center received a $7 million grant on Wednesday to be utilized in confirming the effectiveness of two new drug classes thought to protect the brain from Human Immunodeficiency Virus-related nerve damage, also known as neuroAIDS.

Patients suffering from neuroAIDS currently undergo treatments that reduce the effect of the disease, but as of now, there is no cure.

Symptoms of neuroAIDS include gradual loss of attention span, memory, speaking ability and decision-making skills.

Research is being done to determine if there is something about HIV besides its attack on immune cells that could cause disease in the brain.

Because of this, scientists are looking for compounds that could counter proteins released by the virus and chemicals released by human cells reacting to them that could act as toxins.

It is believed that the virus secretes toxins that signal too many nerve cells to begin programmed cell death, which is normally a healthy process. HIV also causes immune cells that reside in the brain to fight infection that doesn’t exist, causing inflammation that presses on brain tissue.

Researchers are therefore looking to create a therapy that will combine standard antiviral therapy with new drugs that protect nerve cells and also reduce inflammation.

“The number of HIV patients that suffer brain damage is usually estimated at one in five,” professor in the Department of Neurology at the Medical Center Harris A. Gelbard, M.D., Ph.D., said. “But I believe that nearly all of them, if they live long enough, will be affected.”Gujar Mart loses license to sell alcoholGujar Mart, a convenience store on the corner of Gregory Street and Mr.. Hope Avenue, was fined $2,000 and banned from selling alcohol after being found to have sold alcohol to minors.

Gujar Mart is a frequent stop for UR students, because of its location just a few blocks off-campus to the north.

The New York State Liquor Authority held a board meeting on Aug. 8 to determine the fates of numerous businesses across the state. In total, 22 licenses to sell alcohol were revoked.

Under the terms of the license revocation, Gujar Mart is obligated to pay a $2,000 civil penalty and is banned from selling any alcoholic product for a period of two years. After this period, the store is free to apply for a new license.

Gujar Mart has encountered trouble with the law in the past, having been reprimanded in 2000 for accepting food stamps as cash for purchases.

When announcing its decision, the Liquor Authority indicated that the store had been found to be selling alcohol to minors, but did not specify how this had been discovered. The Authority did, however, state its purpose in issuing the suspension.

“Licensees who do not take the responsibility of having a license seriously will lose the privilege,” Chairman of the State Liquor Authority Daniel Boyle said. “The Liquor Authority will continue its ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of the public.”

Despite the Chairman’s concern for their safety, some students see the Gujar Mart losing its license as an inconvenience, rather than a necessity. Many without cars walked to the store because of its close proximity to campus.Reporting by Matt Majarian and Erin Philbrick.



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