Neurological involvement in HIV is commonly associated with cognitive impairment. While severe and progressive neurocognitive impairment has become rare in HIV clinics in the era of potent antiretroviral therapy, a majority of HIV patients worldwide perform below expectations on formal neurocognitive tests. Co-morbid conditions contribute to impairment, but they are insufficient to explain the frequency of impairment encountered. HIV disease markers like current viral load and CD4 counts are no longer strongly associated with ongoing impairment on therapy, while cardiovascular disease markers and inflammatory markers appear more closely associated. Novel cerebrospinal fluid and neuroimaging biomarkers are needed to detect and follow impairment. Ongoing research to optimize HIV therapy within the central nervous system, and potentially to intervene in downstream mechanisms of neurotoxicity remain important avenues of future investigation. Ultimately, the full control of virus in the brain is a necessary step in the goal of HIV eradication. Weekly searches of English language publications referring to HIV neurocognitive impairment, HIV neuropathy, HIV myelopathy, HIV dementia, and HIV from 1988 to August 2013 were performed. In addition, the authors’ own files were manually searched.
HAND; HAD; dementia; HIV; imaging; HIV therapy; biomarkers
Significant advances in the diagnosis and management of bacterial brain abscess over the past several decades have improved the expected outcome of a disease once regarded as invariably fatal. Despite this, intraparenchymal abscess continues to present a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Brain abscess may result from traumatic brain injury, prior neurosurgical procedure, contiguous spread from a local source, or hematogenous spread of a systemic infection. In a significant proportion of cases, an etiology cannot be identified. Clinical presentation is highly variable and routine laboratory testing lacks sensitivity. As such, a high degree of clinical suspicion is necessary for prompt diagnosis and intervention. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging offer a timely and sensitive method of assessing for abscess. Appearance of abscess on routine imaging lacks specificity and will not spare biopsy in cases where the clinical context does not unequivocally indicate infectious etiology. Current work with advanced imaging modalities may yield more accurate methods of differentiation of mass lesions in the brain. Management of abscess demands a multimodal approach. Surgical intervention and medical therapy are necessary in most cases. Prognosis of brain abscess has improved significantly in the recent decades although close follow-up is required, given the potential for long-term sequelae and a risk of recurrence.
abscess; bacteria; fungi; imaging; infection; brain
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are the most common preventable and treatable cause of dementia. While the incidence of the most severe form of HAND, HIV-associated dementia, has decreased since the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the prevalence of less severe forms of HAND has continued to rise. HAND leads to a subcortical dementia consisting of a triad of cognitive, behavior, and motor dysfunction. No single laboratory test can establish HAND, but ancillary studies including neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging studies, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis are useful for supporting or refuting the diagnosis. More recent evidence has suggested that higher central nervous system–penetrating cART may lead to greater suppression of CSF HIV viral loads and improved cognition. Because viral control generally has been successful without eliminating cognitive dysfunction, further clinical studies that assess adjunctive neuroprotective drugs are likely to be required.
Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a common neurological complication of HIV infection that has debilitating effects on quality-of-life. While there has been a comprehensive evaluation of the prevalence of neuropathic signs/symptoms and risk factors (RFs) for PN or symptomatic PN (SPN) with initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in ART-naïve patients, similar evaluation in ART-experienced patients is limited. This study investigated the prevalence and RFs for PN/SPN in ART-experienced patients enrolled in clinical salvage therapy studies. Between February 2000 and June 2007, five hundred and twenty-two ART-experienced participants who experienced virologic failure with a prior regimen and started new regimens were followed longitudinally and annually screened for signs and symptoms of PN. Rates of PN/SPN at 3 years since parent study entry were 52.8% and 24.0%, respectively. Aging, taller height, protease inhibitor use, and female sex were significant RFs for PN/SPN. The use of statin drugs was significantly associated with lower odds of SPN, and it may prevent progression from no SPN to SPN.
peripheral neuropathy; symptomatic peripheral neuropathy; risk factors; HIV infection
There is limited evidence for efficacy of analgesics as monotherapy for neuropathic pain associated with HIV-associated polyneuropathies, in spite of demonstrated efficacy in other neuropathic pain conditions. We evaluated the tolerability and analgesic efficacy of duloxetine, methadone, and the combination of duloxetine-methadone compared to placebo.
This study was a phase II, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, four-period crossover multi-center study of analgesic therapy for patients with at least moderate neuropathic pain due to HIV-associated polyneuropathy. Duloxetine, methadone, combination duloxetine-methadone, and placebo were administered in four different possible sequences. The primary outcome measure was mean pain intensity (MPI) measured daily in a study-supplied pain diary.
A total of 15 patients were enrolled from 8 study sites and 8 patients completed the entire trial. Study treatments failed to show statistically significant change in MPI compared to placebo. Adverse events were frequent and associated with high rates of drug discontinuation and study drop-out.
Challenges with participant recruitment and poor retention precluded trial completion to its planned targets, limiting our evaluation of the analgesic efficacy of the study treatments. Challenges to successful completion of this study and lessons learned are discussed.
HIV sensory neuropathy and distal neuropathic pain (DNP) are common, disabling complications associated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). We previously associated iron-regulatory genetic polymorphisms with a reduced risk of HIV sensory neuropathy during more neurotoxic types of cART. We here evaluated the impact of polymorphisms in 19 iron-regulatory genes on DNP in 560 HIV-infected subjects from a prospective, observational study, who underwent neurological examinations to ascertain peripheral neuropathy and structured interviews to ascertain DNP. Genotype-DNP associations were explored by logistic regression and permutation-based analytical methods. Among 559 evaluable subjects, 331 (59%) developed HIV-SN, and 168 (30%) reported DNP. Fifteen polymorphisms in 8 genes (p<0.05) and 5 variants in 4 genes (p<0.01) were nominally associated with DNP: polymorphisms in TF, TFRC, BMP6, ACO1, SLC11A2, and FXN conferred reduced risk (adjusted odds ratios [ORs] ranging from 0.2 to 0.7, all p<0.05); other variants in TF, CP, ACO1, BMP6, and B2M conferred increased risk (ORs ranging from 1.3 to 3.1, all p<0.05). Risks associated with some variants were statistically significant either in black or white subgroups but were consistent in direction. ACO1 rs2026739 remained significantly associated with DNP in whites (permutation p<0.0001) after correction for multiple tests. Several of the same iron-regulatory-gene polymorphisms, including ACO1 rs2026739, were also associated with severity of DNP (all p<0.05). Common polymorphisms in iron-management genes are associated with DNP and with DNP severity in HIV-infected persons receiving cART. Consistent risk estimates across population subgroups and persistence of the ACO1 rs2026739 association after adjustment for multiple testing suggest that genetic variation in iron-regulation and transport modulates susceptibility to DNP.
MRI alterations in the cerebral white (WM) and gray matter (GM) are common in HIV infection, even during successful combination antiretroviral therapy (CART), and their pathophysiology and clinical significance are unclear. We evaluated the association of these alterations with recovery of CD4+ T-cells. Seventy-five HIV-infected (HIV+) volunteers in the CNS HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) study underwent brain MRI at two visits. Multi-channel morphometry yielded volumes of total cerebral WM, abnormal WM, cortical and subcortical GM, and ventricular and sulcal CSF. Multivariable linear regressions were used to predict volumetric changes with change in current CD4 and detectable HIV RNA. On average, the cohort (79% initially on CART) demonstrated loss of total cerebral WM alongside increases in abnormal WM and ventricular volumes. A greater extent of CD4 recovery was associated with increases in abnormal WM and subcortical GM volumes. Virologic suppression was associated with increased subcortical GM volume, independent of CD4 recovery. These findings suggest a possible link between brain alterations and immune recovery, distinct from the influence of virologic suppression. The association of increasing abnormal WM and subcortical GM volumes with CD4+ T-cell recovery suggests that neuroinflammation may be one mechanism in CNS pathogenesis.
Antiretroviral therapy; brain; CD4+ T-cell; immune recovery/reconstitution; inflammation; MRI
Prior candidate gene studies have associated CYP2B6 516G→T [rs3745274] and 983T→C [rs28399499] with increased plasma efavirenz exposure. We sought to identify novel variants associated with efavirenz pharmacokinetics.
Materials and methods
Antiretroviral therapy-naive AIDS Clinical Trials Group studies A5202, A5095, and ACTG 384 included plasma sampling for efavirenz pharmacokinetics. Log-transformed trough efavirenz concentrations (Cmin) were previously estimated by population pharmacokinetic modeling. Stored DNA was genotyped with Illumina HumanHap 650Y or 1MDuo platforms, complemented by additional targeted genotyping of CYP2B6 and CYP2A6 with MassARRAY iPLEX Gold. Associations were identified by linear regression, which included principal component vectors to adjust for genetic ancestry.
Among 856 individuals, CYP2B6 516G→T was associated with efavirenz estimated Cmin (P = 8.5 × 10−41). After adjusting for CYP2B6 516G→T, CYP2B6 983T→C was associated (P = 9.9 × 10−11). After adjusting for both CYP2B6 516G→T and 983T→C, a CYP2B6 variant (rs4803419) in intron 3 was associated (P = 4.4 × 10−15). After adjusting for all the three variants, non-CYP2B6 polymorphisms were associated at P-value less than 5× 10−8. In a separate cohort of 240 individuals, only the three CYP2B6 polymorphisms replicated. These three polymorphisms explained 34% of interindividual variability in efavirenz estimated Cmin. The extensive metabolizer phenotype was best defined by the absence of all three polymorphisms.
Three CYP2B6 polymorphisms were independently associated with efavirenz estimated Cmin at genome-wide significance, and explained one-third of interindividual variability. These data will inform continued efforts to translate pharmacogenomic knowledge into optimal efavirenz utilization.
CYP2B6; efavirenz; HIV; pharmacogenomics; pharmacokinetics
tumefaction; demyelination; HIV; viral inclusion; leukoencephalopathy
To describe the development of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with rituximab.
Clinical care for patients with rheumatologic diseases. Most were referred to academic centers for care after diagnosis (Washington University, St Louis, Missouri; Karolinska Insitute, Stockholm, Sweden; and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia) while one was cared for in a neurology practice in Dallas, Texas, with consultation by an academic neurovirologist from the University of Colorado in Denver.
Four patients developing PML in the setting of rituximab therapy for RA.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical and pathological observations.
Four patients from an estimated population of 129 000 exposed to rituximab therapy for RA are reported in whom PML developed after administration of this drug. All were women older than 50 years, commonly with Sjögren syndrome and a history of treatment for joint disease ranging from 3 to 14 years. One case had no prior biologic and minimal immunosuppressive therapy. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy presented as a progressive neurological disorder, with diagnosis confirmed by detection of JC virus DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid or brain biopsy specimen. Two patients died in less than 1 year from PML diagnosis, while 2 remain alive after treatment withdrawal. Magnetic resonance scans and tissue evaluation confirmed the frequent development of inflammatory PML during the course of the disease.
These cases suggest an increased risk, about 1 case per 25 000 individuals, of PML in patients with RA being treated with rituximab. Inflammatory PML may occur in this setting even while CD20 counts remain low.
To establish criteria for the diagnosis of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).
We reviewed available literature to identify various diagnostic criteria employed. Several search strategies employing the terms “progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy” with or without “JC virus” were performed with PubMed, SCOPUS, and EMBASE search engines. The articles were reviewed by a committee of individuals with expertise in the disorder in order to determine the most useful applicable criteria.
A consensus statement was developed employing clinical, imaging, pathologic, and virologic evidence in support of the diagnosis of PML. Two separate pathways, histopathologic and clinical, for PML diagnosis are proposed. Diagnostic classification includes certain, probable, possible, and not PML.
Definitive diagnosis of PML requires neuropathologic demonstration of the typical histopathologic triad (demyelination, bizarre astrocytes, and enlarged oligodendroglial nuclei) coupled with the techniques to show the presence of JC virus. The presence of clinical and imaging manifestations consistent with the diagnosis and not better explained by other disorders coupled with the demonstration of JC virus by PCR in CSF is also considered diagnostic. Algorithms for establishing the diagnosis have been recommended.
Higher CSF antiretroviral concentrations may be associated with better control of HIV replication and neurocognitive performance, but only the unbound fraction of antiretrovirals is available to inhibit HIV. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine total and unbound darunavir concentrations in CSF and compare findings with plasma concentrations as well as the wild-type HIV-1 90% inhibitory concentration (IC90).
Subjects with HIV infection were selected based on the use of darunavir-containing regimens with a twice-daily dosing schedule and availability of stored CSF and matched plasma. Total darunavir was measured by HPLC for plasma or liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy (LC/MS/MS) for CSF. Plasma unbound darunavir was measured by ultrafiltration and LC/MS/MS. CSF protein binding was determined by competitive binding exchange with radiolabelled darunavir.
Twenty-nine matched CSF–plasma pairs were analysed and darunavir was detected in all CSF specimens (median total concentration 55.8 ng/mL), with a CSF unbound fraction of 93.5%. Median fractional penetrance was 1.4% of median total and 9.4% of median unbound plasma concentrations. Unbound darunavir concentrations in CSF exceeded the median IC90 for wild-type HIV in all subjects by a median of 20.6-fold, despite the relatively low fractional penetrance. Total darunavir concentrations in CSF correlated with both total and unbound darunavir concentrations in plasma.
Darunavir should contribute to the control of HIV replication in the CNS as a component of effective combination antiretroviral regimens.
HIV; antiretroviral therapy; central nervous system; protein binding
To provide updated estimates of the prevalence and clinical impact of human immunodeficiency virus−associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN) and neuropathic pain due to HIV-SN in the combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) era.
Prospective, cross-sectional analysis. Clinical correlates for HIV-SN and neuropathic pain, including age, exposure to CART, CD4 levels, plasma viral load, hepatitis C virus infection, and alcohol use disorders, were evaluated in univariate and multivariate models.
Six US academic medical centers.
One thousand five hundred thirty-nine HIV-infected individuals enrolled in the CNS (Central Nervous System) HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy Effects Research study.
Main Outcome Measures
The presence of HIV-SN, defined by 1 or more clinical signs (diminished vibration or sharp sensation in the legs and feet; reduced ankle reflexes) in a distal, symmetrical pattern. Neuropathic pain was defined as aching, stabbing, or burning in a similar distribution. The effect on quality of life was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study HIV Health Survey.
We found HIV-SN in 881 participants. Of these, 38.0% reported neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain was significantly associated with disability in daily activities, unemployment, and reduced quality of life. Risk factors for HIV-SN after adjustment were advancing age (odds ratio, 2.1 [95%confidence interval, 1.8–2.5] per 10 years), lower CD4 nadir (1.2 [1.1–1.2] per 100-cell decrease), current CART use (1.6 [1.3–2.8]), and past “D-drug” use (specific dideoxynucleoside analogue antiretrovirals) (2.0 [1.3–2.6]). Risk factors for neuropathic pain were past D-drug use and higher CD4 nadir.
Neuropathic pain and HIV-SN remain prevalent, causing substantial disability and reduced quality of life even with successful CART. The clinical correlates of HIV-SN have changed with the evolution of treatment. These findings argue for redoubled efforts to determine HIV-SN pathogenesis and the development of symptomatic and neuroregenerative therapies.
The diagnosis of HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment is time-intensive and often omitted in busy outpatient settings. Brief screening tools are needed. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-8 have been used in neurodegenerative disorders. We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of these brief screening tools in HIV-infected persons. The AD-8, MoCA, and formal neuropsychological testing were administered to 200 HIV-infected patients followed at a single institution. Normalized scores on formal neuropsychological testing were used to define neurocognitive impairment. The sensitivity and specificity of the MoCA and AD-8 were assessed to diagnose impairment. Neurocognitive impairment was highly prevalent in this cohort: 127 persons (64%) were diagnosed with neurocognitive impairment based on formal testing. Using the AD-8 and MoCA, 113 (57%) and 101 (51%) persons were identified with neurocognitive impairment, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of MoCA were 63% and 71%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of AD-8 were 61% and 51%, respectively. Our findings highlight that brief screening tools correlate with formal neuropsychological testing. However, the sensitivities of these screening tools are lower than desired. Nevertheless, given their ease in administration, these tools could assist as a first line for identifying individuals who may subsequently require formal neuropsychological testing.
HIV; Neurocognitive Disorder; MoCA; AD-8; Neuropsychological Testing; Cognition
The HIV Dementia Scale (HDS) was developed to screen for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), but concerns have persisted regarding its substandard sensitivity. This study aimed to examine the classification accuracy of the HDS using raw and norm-based cutpoints, and to evaluate the contribution of the HDS subtests to predicting HAND.
1,580 HIV-infected participants from 6 U.S. sites completed the HDS, and a gold standard neuropsychological battery, on which 51% of participants were impaired. Results: Sensitivity and specificity to HAND using the standard raw HDS cutpoint were 24% and 92%, respectively. The raw HDS subtests of attention, recall, and psychomotor speed significantly contributed to classification of HAND, while visuomotor construction contributed the least. A modified raw cutpoint of 14 yielded sensitivity of 66% and specificity of 61%, with cross-validation. Using norms also significantly improved sensitivity to 69% with a concomitant reduction of specificity to 56%, while the positive predictive value declined from 75% to 62% and negative predictive value improved from 54% to 64%. The HDS showed similarly modest rates of sensitivity and specificity among subpopulations of individuals with minimal comorbidity and successful viral suppression.
Findings indicate that while the HDS is a statistically significant predictor of HAND, particularly when adjusted for demographic factors, its relatively low diagnostic classification accuracy continues to hinder its clinical utility. A raw cutpoint of 14 greatly improved the sensitivity of the previously established raw cutscore, but may be subject to ceiling effects, particularly on repeat assessments.
HIV; cognition; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders; screening measures; HIV dementia scale
Standard methods used to estimate HIV-1 population diversity are often resource intensive (e.g., single genome amplification, clonal amplification and pyrosequencing) and not well suited for large study cohorts. Additional approaches are needed to address the relationships between intraindividual HIV-1 genetic diversity and disease. With a small cohort of individuals, we validated three methods for measuring diversity: Shannon entropy and average pairwise distance (APD) using single genome sequences, and counts of mixed bases (i.e. ambiguous nucleotides) from population-based sequences. In a large cohort, we then used the mixed base approach to determine associations between measure HIV-1 diversity and HIV associated disease. Normalized counts of mixed bases correlated with Shannon Entropy at both the nucleotide (rho=0.72, p=0.002) and amino acid level (rho=0.59, p=0.015), and APD (rho=0.75, p=0.001). Among participants who underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments (n=187), increased HIV-1 population diversity was associated with both a diagnosis of AIDS and neuropsychological impairment.
HIV; AIDS; genetic diversity; neuropsychological impairment; viral population dynamics
The purpose of this study is to evaluate risk factors for progression from asymptomatic peripheral neuropathy (APN) to symptomatic peripheral neuropathy (SPN). Antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve patients initiating combination ART were followed longitudinally and screened for signs/ symptoms of PN. Having APN was associated with higher odds of future SPN (odds ratio (OR)=1.58, 95 % confidence interval (CI)=(1.08, 2.29), p=0.027). Neurotoxic ART use was associated with increased odds of progression to SPN (OR= 2.16, 95 % CI=(1.21, 3.85), p=0.009) while use of glucose-lowering drugs (non-insulin) was protective (OR=0.12, 95 % CI=(0.02, 0.83), p=0.031). Use of glucose-lowering drugs (non-insulin) may prevent progression from APN to SPN.
Peripheral neuropathy; Symptomatic peripheral neuropathy; Risk factors; HIV; Glucose-lowering drugs
Efavirenz (EFV) is an antiretroviral (ARV) drug associated with neuropsychological effects. Limited data describing the long-term impact of EFV-based regimens on neuropsychological performance over more than 3 years are available.
We enrolled a subset of participants from a large initially EFV placebo-controlled trial of therapies for HIV subjects naïve to ARV treatment (A5095). Clinical follow-up continued for 184 weeks of study. Subjects were assessed with brief neuropsychological testing, a symptom questionnaire of EFV-associated symptoms, the Pittsburgh Sleep Index, Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, and an anxiety rating interview.
Over 184 weeks on EFV, the median NPZ3 score in 86 evaluable patients improved from baseline by +0.5 (p < .01); all components improved, although higher EFV levels were associated with slightly lower responses. Overall symptom scores did not change, while EFV-associated CNS symptoms increased (p = .01). Median change of bad dream sleep scores and anxiety increased from the baseline while global depression score decreased.
In participants who continued EFV-based regimens, neuropsychological performance improvement from baseline was maintained over 3 years. EFV-based treatment was generally well tolerated, but small increases from baseline in EFV-associated symptoms, bad dreams, and anxiety were detected.
anxiety; depression; efavirenz; HIV therapy; neuropsychologic effects; sleep
Determine if antiretroviral (ARV) regimens with good central nervous system (CNS) penetration control HIV in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and improve cognition.
Multi-site longitudinal observational study.
101 individuals with advanced HIV beginning or changing a new potent ARV regimen. Data for 79 subjects were analyzed. Participants underwent structured history and neurological examination, venipuncture, lumbar puncture, neuropsychological tests at entry, 24 and 52 weeks.
ARV regimens were categorized as CNS penetration effectiveness (CPE) rank ≥ 2 or < 2. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations over the course of the study.
Main Outcome Measures
Concentration of HIV RNA in CSF and blood, neuropsychological test scores.
Odds of suppression of CSF HIV RNA were higher when CPE rank ≥ 2 compared to < 2. Odds of suppression of plasma HIV RNA were not associated with CPE rank. Among subjects with impaired neuropsychological performance at entry, those prescribed regimens with a CPE rank ≥ 2 or more ARVs had lower NPZ4 over the course of the study.
ARV regimens with good CNS penetration, as assessed by CPE rank, are more effective in controlling CSF (and presumably CNS) viral replication than regimens with poorer penetration. In this study, ARVs with good CNS penetration were associated with poorer neurocognitive performance. A larger, controlled trial is required before any conclusions regarding the influence of specific ARVs on neurocognitive performance should be made.
Cerebrospinal fluid; HIV; cognition; neuropsychological tests; antiretroviral therapy
Cognitive impairment remains frequent in HIV, despite combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Leading theories implicate peripheral monocyte HIV DNA reservoirs as a mechanism for spread of the virus to the brain. These reservoirs remain present despite cART. The objective of this study was to determine if the level of HIV DNA in CD14+ enriched monocytes predicted cognitive impairment and brain injury.
We enrolled 61 cART-naïve HIV-infected Thais in a prospective study and measured HIV DNA in CD14+ enriched monocyte samples in a blinded fashion. We determined HAND diagnoses by consensus panel and all participants underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to measure markers of brain injury. Immune activation was measured via cytokines in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
The mean (SD) age was 35 (6.9) years, CD4 T-lymphocyte count was 236 (139) and log10 plasma HIV RNA was 4.8 (0.73). Twenty-eight of 61 met HAND criteria. The log10 CD14+ HIV DNA was associated with HAND in unadjusted and adjusted models (p = 0.001). There was a 14.5 increased odds ratio for HAND per 1 log-value of HIV DNA (10-fold increase in copy number). Plasma CD14+ HIV DNA was associated with plasma and CSF neopterin (p = 0.023) and with MRS markers of neuronal injury (lower N-acetyl aspartate) and glial dysfunction (higher myoinositol) in multiple brain regions.
Reservoir burden of HIV DNA in monocyte-enriched (CD14+) peripheral blood cells increases risk for HAND in treatment-naïve HIV+ subjects and is directly associated with CSF immune activation and both brain injury and glial dysfunction by MRS.
In May 2012, the Division of AIDS Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) organized the “Global NeuroAIDS Roundtable” in conjunction with the 11th International Symposium on Neurovirology and the 2012 Conference on HIV in the Nervous System. The meeting was held in New York, NY, USA and brought together NIMH-funded investigators who are currently working on projects related to the neurological complications of AIDS (NeuroAIDS) in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America in order to provide an opportunity to share their recent findings and discuss the challenges encountered within each country. The major goals of the roundtable were to evaluate HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment and determine if it may be directly attributable to distinct HIV subtypes or clades and to discuss the future priorities for global NeuroAIDS research. At the “Global NeuroAIDS Roundtable”, presentations of preliminary research indicated that HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment is prevalent in all countries examined regardless of which HIV clade is present in the region. The only clear-cut difference between HIV-1 clades was in relation to subtypes A and D in Uganda. However, a key point that emerged from the discussions was that there is an urgent need to standardize neurocognitive assessment methodologies across the globe before definitive conclusions can be drawn regarding the relationship between HIV clade diversity and neuropathogenesis. Future research directions were also discussed at the roundtable with particular emphasis on the potential of viral and host factor molecular interactions to impact the pathophysiology of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) from a global perspective.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 (HIV-2); Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); HIV clade; NeuroAIDS; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND); Neuropathogenesis
Despite the widening use of combination anti-retroviral therapy (ART), neurocognitive impairment remains common among HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals. Associations between HIV-related neuromedical variables and magnetic resonance imaging indices of brain structural integrity may provide insight into the neural bases for these symptoms. A diverse HIV+ sample (n=251) was studied through the CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research initiative. Multi-channel image analysis produced volumes of ventricular and sulcal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), cortical and subcortical gray matter, total cerebral white matter, and abnormal white matter. Cross-sectional analyses employed a series of multiple linear regressions to model each structural volume as a function of severity of prior immunosuppression (CD4 nadir), current CD4 count, presence of detectable CSF HIV RNA, and presence of HCV antibodies; secondary analyses examined plasma HIV RNA, estimated duration of HIV infection, and cumulative exposure to ART. Lower CD4 nadir was related to most measures of the structural brain damage. Higher current CD4, unexpectedly, correlated with lower white and subcortical gray and increased CSF. Detectable CSF HIV RNA was related to less total white matter. HCV coinfection was associated with more abnormal white matter. Longer exposure to ART was associated with lower white matter and higher sulcal CSF. HIV neuromedical factors, including lower nadir, higher current CD4 levels, and detectable HIV RNA, were associated with white matter damage and variability in subcortical volumes. Brain structural integrity in HIV likely reflects dynamic effects of current immune status and HIV replication, superimposed on residual effects associated with severe prior immunosuppression.
HIV; MRI; Neuroimaging; Immunospupression
Despite modern antiretroviral treatment, HIV-associated distal neuropathic pain (DNP) remains one of the most prevalent and debilitating complications of HIV disease. Neuropathic pain is often accompanied by depressed mood, and both pain and depression have been associated with decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL) well-being. The relative contribution of depression and pain to worse life quality has not been addressed, however, even though a better understanding might sharpen intervention strategies.
We used the Medical Outcomes Study HIV (MOS-HIV) Health Survey and the Beck Depression Inventory-II and linear regression models to investigate HRQOL well-being in HIV-infected patients with DNP (N=397) participating in an observational cohort study at six US sites (CNS HIV Antiretroviral Treatment Effects Research Study, CHARTER).
For this sample of patients with HIV DNP, severity of depressed mood was more highly correlated with HRQOL well-being than was pain intensity.
These results suggest that interventions to improve HRQOL well-being in individuals with HIV-associated DNP may need to address not only pain intensity, but mood state as well.
Quality of Life; Depression; HIV-Associated Distal Neuropathic Pain; Pain Intensity
Immune reconstitution has improved outcomes for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a potentially lethal brain disease caused by JC virus (JCV). However, an antiviral treatment to control JCV is needed when immune reconstitution is delayed or not possible. On the basis of in vitro efficacy, this study evaluated the effect of mefloquine on PML and factors that may predict PML outcomes. This 38-week, open-label, randomized, parallel-group, proof-of-concept study compared patients with PML who received standard of care (SOC) with those who received SOC plus mefloquine (250 mg for 3 days, then 250 mg weekly). Patients randomized to SOC could add mefloquine treatment at week 4. The primary endpoint was change from baseline to weeks 4 and 8 in JCV DNA copy number (load) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Exploratory analyses evaluated factors that might correlate with clinical outcome. The majority of enrolled patients were HIV positive. Preplanned interim data analyses suggested that the study was unlikely to successfully demonstrate a significant difference between groups; therefore, the study was terminated prematurely. There was no significant difference between groups in CSF JCV DNA loads or clinical/MRI findings. Decrease in CSF JCV DNA load from baseline to week 4 was associated with a better clinical outcome at 16 weeks, as measured by Karnofsky scores. This study found no evidence of anti-JCV activity by mefloquine. An early decrease of CSF JCV DNA load appears to be associated with a better clinical outcome.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13365-013-0173-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Mefloquine; Leukoencephalopathy; Progressive multifocal; JC virus; Magnetic resonance imaging