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1.  HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND) 
The Lancet infectious diseases  2013;13(11):976-986.
Summary
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.
doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70269-X
PMCID: PMC4108270  PMID: 24156898
HAND; HAD; dementia; HIV; imaging; HIV therapy; biomarkers
2.  The Cerebrospinal Fluid HIV Risk Score for Assessing Central Nervous System Activity in Persons With HIV 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2014;180(3):297-307.
Detectable human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is associated with central nervous system (CNS) complications. We developed the CSF HIV risk score through prediction modeling to estimate the risk of detectable CSF HIV RNA (threshold >50 copies/mL) to help identify persons who might benefit most from CSF monitoring. We used baseline data from 1,053 participants receiving combination antiretroviral therapy who were enrolled in the 6-center, US-based CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) prospective cohort in 2004–2007. Plasma HIV RNA, CNS penetration effectiveness, duration of combination antiretroviral therapy, medication adherence, race, and depression status were retained correlates of CSF HIV RNA, displaying good discrimination (C statistic = 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.87, 0.93) and calibration (Hosmer-Lemeshow P = 0.85). The CSF HIV risk score ranges from 0 to 42 points, with a mean of 15.4 (standard deviation, 7.3) points. At risk scores greater than 25, the probability of detecting CSF HIV RNA was at least 42.9% (95% CI: 36.6, 49.6). For each 1-point increase, the odds of detecting CSF HIV RNA increased by 26% (odds ratio = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.21, 1.31; P < 0.01). The risk score correlates with detection of CSF HIV RNA. It represents an advance in HIV management and monitoring of CNS effects, providing a potentially useful tool for clinicians.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwu098
PMCID: PMC4108039  PMID: 24966216
central nervous system; cerebrospinal fluid; cerebrospinal fluid human immunodeficiency virus risk score; human immunodeficiency virus; prediction model
3.  Bacterial Brain Abscess 
The Neurohospitalist  2014;4(4):196-204.
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.
doi:10.1177/1941874414540684
PMCID: PMC4212419  PMID: 25360205
abscess; bacteria; fungi; imaging; infection; brain
4.  Neurologic manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus-2: dementia, myelopathy, and neuropathy in West Africa 
Journal of neurovirology  2011;17(2):166-175.
While well documented in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1, neurologic sequelae have not been systematically evaluated in HIV-2. After excluding for confounding comorbidities, 67 individuals from a rural cohort in Guinea-Bissau (22 HIV-2 participants, 45 seronegative controls) were evaluated. HIV+individuals were divided into CD4<350 and CD4≥350 for analysis. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), assessed by the International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS), distal sensory polyneuropathy (DSPN), and myelopathy were the main outcome variables. In univariate analysis, there was no difference in IHDS scores among groups. When analyzed by primary education attainment, IHDS scores were nonsignificantly higher (p=0.06) with more education. There was no significant difference in DSPN prevalence among groups; overall, 45% of participants had DSPN. There were no cases of myelopathy. In multivariate linear regression, higher IHDS scores were significantly correlated with older age (coefficient=−0.11, p<0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed that older age (odds ratio (OR) 95% CI 1.04–1.20), lower CD4 count (OR 95% CI 0.996–0.999), and higher BMI (OR 95% CI 1.02–1.43) significantly predicted the presence of DSPN. While a significant increase in cognitive impairment was not observed in HIV-2-infected individuals, the study suggests the IHDS may be a less effective screening tool for HAND in settings of lower educational attainment as encountered in rural Guinea-Bissau. Similar to HIV-1, DSPN seems to occur with lower CD4 counts in HIV-2. Further study of the viral–host interactions in HIV-2 and its consequent neurological diseases may provide an avenue for understanding the epidemic problems of HIV-1.
doi:10.1007/s13365-011-0022-9
PMCID: PMC4470556  PMID: 21424866
HIV; Neurology; Polyneuropathy; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder; HAND
5.  Genome-wide association study of peripheral neuropathy with D-drug-containing regimens in AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocol 384 
Journal of neurovirology  2014;20(3):304-308.
Stavudine (d4T) was, until recently, one of the most widely prescribed antiretroviral drugs worldwide. While there has been a major shift away from d4T use in resource-limited countries, a large number of patients have previously received (or continue to receive) d4T, and many have developed peripheral neuropathy. The identification of genetic predictors of increased risk might suggest novel therapeutic targets for such patients. In AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocol 384, antiretroviral-naïve patients were randomized to d4T/didanosine (ddI)- or zidovudine/lamivudine-containing regimens. Data from d4T/ddI recipients were analyzed for genome-wide associations (approximately 1 million genetic loci) with new onset distal sensory peripheral neuropathy. Analyses involved 254 patients (49 % White, 34 % Black, 17 % Hispanic), comprising 90 peripheral neuropathy cases (32 grade 1, 35 grade 2, 23 grade 3) and 164 controls. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no polymorphism was consistently associated with neuropathy among all patients, among White, Black, and Hispanic patients analyzed separately, both in genome-wide analyses (threshold, P<5.0×10−8) and focused on 46 neuropathy-associated genes (threshold, P<3.5×10−5). In the latter analyses, the lowest P values were in KIF1A among Whites (rs10199388, P=8.4×10−4), in LITAF among Blacks (rs13333308, P=6.0×10−6), and in NEFL among Hispanics (rs17763685, P=5.6×10−6). Susceptibility to d4T/ddI-associated neuropathy is not explained by a single genetic variant with a marked effect.
doi:10.1007/s13365-014-0235-9
PMCID: PMC4114519  PMID: 24554482
Peripheral neuropathy; HIV-1; Stavudine; Didanosine; Genomics
6.  Relationship of Depression and Catastrophizing to Pain, Disability, and Medication Adherence in Patients with HIV-Associated Sensory Neuropathy 
AIDS care  2011;23(8):921-928.
Few studies have examined how patients with chronic HIV infection cope with pain and how pain relates to medication adherence. Pain coping strategies such as catastrophizing are often associated with increased pain and disability and may also influence adherence to medications. The goal of our study is to assess the relationship of catastrophizing and depression to pain, disability, and medication adherence through questionnaires administered to a cross-section of patients with HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. In our study, 46 HIV-seropositive subjects completed questionnaires evaluating neuropathic pain severity, pain catastrophizing, pain-related disability, depressive symptoms, severity of antiretroviral therapy (ART) side effects, and common reasons for medication non-adherence. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that pain catastrophizing correlated with severity of neuropathic pain independent of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, depressive symptoms were not associated with multiple factors independent of pain catastrophizing, such as severity of neuropathic pain and pain-related disability. Pain catastrophizing, but not depressive symptoms, correlated with increased pain disability even after controlling for the effects of age and neuropathic pain. We also found that poor adherence attributed to fear of side effects or forgetfulness was associated with increased severity of neuropathic pain, while depressive symptoms but not catastrophizing correlated with ART side effects. These findings suggest that both catastrophizing and depressive symptoms are important factors to consider in the management of pain from HIV neuropathy and adherence to ART.
doi:10.1080/09540121.2010.543883
PMCID: PMC4418482  PMID: 21500021
HIV; neuropathy; depression; catastrophizing; medication adherence
7.  HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders and the Impact of Combination Antiretroviral Therapies 
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.
PMCID: PMC3932327  PMID: 18957181
8.  Randomized Trial of Central Nervous System–Targeted Antiretrovirals for HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder 
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) targeted to the central nervous system did not benefit neurocognitive function more than untargeted ART. A planned secondary analysis demonstrating a subgroup benefit in patients with undetectable viral loads before entry should be verified in future studies.
Background. Antiretroviral (ARV) medications differentially penetrate across the blood-brain barrier into central nervous system (CNS) tissues, potentially influencing their effectiveness in treating brain infection.
Methods. This randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT) called for 120 participants at 5 study sites to be randomized 1:1 to CNS-targeted (CNS-T) or non–CNS-T ART. Entry clinical factors such as ARV experience were balanced across arms using an adaptive randomization approach. The primary outcome, change in neurocognitive performance, was measured as the difference in global deficit score (GDS) from baseline to week 16.
Results. The study was terminated early on the recommendation of its data safety monitoring board on the basis of slow accrual and a low likelihood of detecting a difference in the primary outcome. No safety concerns were identified. Of 326 participants screened, 59 met entry criteria and were randomized. The primary intent-to-treat analysis included 49 participants who completed week 16. These comprised 39 men and 10 women with a mean age of 44 years (SD, 10 years), and median nadir and current CD4+ T-cell counts of 175 cells/µL and 242 cells/µL, respectively. The proportional improvement in GDS from baseline was nonsignificantly larger (7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], −31% to 62%) in the CNS-T arm than in the non-CNS-T arm, representing a treatment effect size of 0.09 (95% CI, −.48 to .65). Prespecified secondary analysis showed a trend interaction (P = .087), indicating that participants who had baseline plasma virologic suppression may have benefited from CNS-T.
Conclusions. This study found no evidence of neurocognitive benefit for a CNS-T strategy in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. A benefit for a subgroup or small overall benefits could not be excluded.
Clinical Trials Registration NCT00624195.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit921
PMCID: PMC3952601  PMID: 24352352
HIV; AIDS; cognitive disorders/dementia; antiretroviral therapy
10.  Peripheral Neuropathy in ART-Experienced Patients: Prevalence and Risk Factors 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(6):557-564.
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.
doi:10.1007/s13365-013-0216-4
PMCID: PMC3965352  PMID: 24297499
peripheral neuropathy; symptomatic peripheral neuropathy; risk factors; HIV infection
11.  Experience and challenges presented by a multicenter crossover study of combination analgesic therapy for the treatment of painful HIV-associated polyneuropathies 
Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)  2013;14(7):1039-1047.
Objective
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.
Design
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1111/pme.12084
PMCID: PMC4207215  PMID: 23565581
12.  Genome-wide association study of plasma efavirenz pharmacokinetics in AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocols implicates several CYP2B6 variants 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2012;22(12):858-867.
Objectives
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1097/FPC.0b013e32835a450b
PMCID: PMC3614365  PMID: 23080225
CYP2B6; efavirenz; HIV; pharmacogenomics; pharmacokinetics
13.  Genetic Variation in Iron Metabolism Is Associated with Neuropathic Pain and Pain Severity in HIV-Infected Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e103123.
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103123
PMCID: PMC4140681  PMID: 25144566
14.  Rituximab-Associated Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy in Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Archives of neurology  2011;68(9):1156-1164.
Objective
To describe the development of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with rituximab.
Design
Case study.
Setting
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.
Patients
Four patients developing PML in the setting of rituximab therapy for RA.
Intervention
Rituximab therapy.
Main Outcome Measures
Clinical and pathological observations.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.103
PMCID: PMC3428054  PMID: 21555606
15.  Increases in brain white matter abnormalities and subcortical gray matter are linked to CD4 recovery in HIV infection 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(4):393-401.
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.
doi:10.1007/s13365-013-0185-7
PMCID: PMC3776609  PMID: 23838849
Antiretroviral therapy; brain; CD4+ T-cell; immune recovery/reconstitution; inflammation; MRI
16.  Tumefactive demyelination in a patient with human immunodeficiency virus 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(3):265-269.
doi:10.1007/s13365-013-0165-y
PMCID: PMC3700605  PMID: 23645348
tumefaction; demyelination; HIV; viral inclusion; leukoencephalopathy
17.  PML diagnostic criteria 
Neurology  2013;80(15):1430-1438.
Objective:
To establish criteria for the diagnosis of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).
Methods:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusion:
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.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31828c2fa1
PMCID: PMC3662270  PMID: 23568998
18.  Darunavir is predominantly unbound to protein in cerebrospinal fluid and concentrations exceed the wild-type HIV-1 median 90% inhibitory concentration 
Objectives
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
Darunavir should contribute to the control of HIV replication in the CNS as a component of effective combination antiretroviral regimens.
doi:10.1093/jac/dks441
PMCID: PMC3566670  PMID: 23143899
HIV; antiretroviral therapy; central nervous system; protein binding
19.  Continued High Prevalence and Adverse Clinical Impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Associated Sensory Neuropathy in the Era of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy 
Archives of neurology  2010;67(5):552-558.
Objective
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.
Design
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.
Setting
Six US academic medical centers.
Patients
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.76
PMCID: PMC3924778  PMID: 20457954
20.  The Alzheimer Disease-8 and Montreal Cognitive Assessment as Screening Tools for Neurocognitive Impairment in HIV-Infected Persons 
Journal of neurovirology  2013;19(1):109-116.
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.
doi:10.1007/s13365-012-0147-5
PMCID: PMC3655767  PMID: 23345074
HIV; Neurocognitive Disorder; MoCA; AD-8; Neuropsychological Testing; Cognition
21.  Concurrent Classification Accuracy of the HIV Dementia Scale for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders in the CHARTER Cohort 
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318278ffa4
PMCID: PMC3529802  PMID: 23111573
HIV; cognition; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders; screening measures; HIV dementia scale
22.  Long-Term Impact of Efavirenz on Neuropsychological Performance and Symptoms in HIV-Infected Individuals (ACTG 5097s) 
HIV clinical trials  2009;10(6):343-355.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1310/hct1006-343
PMCID: PMC2958039  PMID: 20133265
anxiety; depression; efavirenz; HIV therapy; neuropsychologic effects; sleep
23.  Impact of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy on Cerebrospinal Fluid HIV RNA and Neurocognitive Performance 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(11):1359-1366.
Objective
Determine if antiretroviral (ARV) regimens with good central nervous system (CNS) penetration control HIV in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and improve cognition.
Design
Multi-site longitudinal observational study.
Setting
Research clinics.
Subjects
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.
Intervention
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832c4152
PMCID: PMC2706549  PMID: 19424052
Cerebrospinal fluid; HIV; cognition; neuropsychological tests; antiretroviral therapy
24.  Higher HIV-1 Genetic Diversity is Associated with AIDS and Neuropsychological Impairment 
Virology  2012;433(2):498-505.
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.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2012.08.028
PMCID: PMC3466337  PMID: 22999095
HIV; AIDS; genetic diversity; neuropsychological impairment; viral population dynamics
25.  HIV peripheral neuropathy progression: protection with glucose-lowering drugs? 
Journal of neurovirology  2012;18(5):428-433.
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.
doi:10.1007/s13365-012-0119-9
PMCID: PMC3485691  PMID: 22806348
Peripheral neuropathy; Symptomatic peripheral neuropathy; Risk factors; HIV; Glucose-lowering drugs

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