During the past decade retroviruses have been recognized as causes of human neurological disease. A wide clinical spectrum of neurological and neuromuscular diseases have been reported with HIV infections, and studies of these diseases have raised novel and exciting hypotheses of pathogenesis. As yet the full clinical spectrum of diseases associated with HTLV-1 has yet to be defined, and the pathogenesis of the chronic spastic paraparesis remains a mystery. Chronic neurological diseases in animals caused by both oncoviruses and lentiviruses can provide some clues to the pathogenesis of these newly recognized human neurological illnesses.
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