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Alcohol:

Chronic alcohol ingestion is a common etiology of neuropathy (alcoholic polyneuropathy). The disorder is defined by a length-dependent axonal degeneration of motor and sensory neurons. Although the direct toxic effect of the alcohol on the nerve or the by-products of the metabolism of the alcohol are two potential etiologies, research has shown that vitamin deficiency as a complication of chronic alcohol ingestion plays a leading part in the development of the neuropathy.

Antiretroviral medications:

The management of HIV/AIDS normally includes the use of multiple medications known as antiretroviral drugs in an attempt to control the infection. There are several classes of antiretroviral agents that act on different stages of the HIV life cycle. The use of multiple drugs that act on different viral targets is known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). HAART decreases the patient's total burden of HIV, maintains function of the immune system, and prevents the development of opportunistic infections that often lead to death. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends offering antiretroviral treatment to all patients with HIV. Because of the complexity of selecting and following a regimen, the severity of the side effects, and the importance of compliance to prevent viral resistance, organizations such as the NIH emphasize the importance of involving patients in therapy choices and recommend analyzing the risks and the potential benefits to patients with low viral loads. Standard antiretroviral therapy (ART) consists of the combination of at least three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for maximal suppression of HIV and to stop the progression of HIV disease. Huge reductions have been seen in rates of death and suffering when a potent ARV regimen is used, particularly in early stages of the disease. Expanded access to ART can also reduce HIV transmission at the population level, impact orphanhood, and preserve families.

Apoptosis:

There are two methods of cellular death: necrosis and apoptosis. Necrosis occurs when a cell is damaged by an external force, such as a toxin, a medication, bodily injury, an infection, or an ischemic event such as a stroke. Necrosis results in an inflammatory cascade, which may cause additional local or systemic events. Apoptosis is often referred to as programmed cell death (PCD), and the process of apoptosis follows a controlled, predictable routine. When a cell is compelled to initiate the process of PCD, proteins called caspases go into action. Caspases break down the cellular components needed for survival, and they spur production of enzymes known as DNases, which destroy the DNA in the nucleus of the cell. An analogy is roadies breaking down the stage in an arena after a major band has been through town. The cell shrinks and sends out distress signals, which are answered by vacuum cleaners known as macrophages. The macrophages clean away the shrunken cells, leaving no trace, so these cells have no chance to cause the damage that necrotic cells do.

Arsenic:

Arsenic is a metallic compound known for its use as a poison in homicide ...

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