Inhibition of HERV-K (HML-2) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients on antiretroviral therapy

Reactivation of Human Endogenous Retrovirus K (HERV-K), subtype HML-2, has been associated with pathophysiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We aimed to assess the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy in inhibiting HML-2 in patients with ALS and a possible association between the change in HML-2 levels and clinical outcomes. We studied the effect of 24-weeks antiretroviral combination therapy with abacavir, lamivudine, and dolutegravir on HML-2 levels in 29 ALS patients. HML-2 levels decreased progressively over 24 weeks (P = 0.001) and rebounded within a week of stopping medications (P = 0.02).

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