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1.  Caudate Volume Predicts Neurocognitive Performance in Youth with Heavy Prenatal Alcohol Exposure 
Background
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) result from heavy prenatal alcohol exposure, and are characterized, in some cases, by CNS anomalies and cognitive impairment. Regional patterns of neuroanatomical abnormalities suggest that alcohol exerts selective damage on the developing fetal brain. This study assessed brain-behavior relationships in a sample of youth with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. The aim was to characterize how structural brain alterations observed in our previous studies relate to cognitive deficits commonly reported in individuals with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure.
Methods
Twenty-one youth (mean age 13 years) with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and seven non-exposed healthy comparison subjects underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neurobehavioral testing. Regional brain volumes within the alcohol-exposed group were correlated with neuropsychological measures of cognitive control and verbal learning/recall, as these aspects of cognition have previously been shown to be vulnerable to alcohol teratogenesis.
Results
Between-group effect sizes revealed moderate to large cognitive performance and brain volume decrements in alcohol-exposed subjects, compared to typically developing peers. Within the alcohol-exposed group, volume of the caudate nuclei was the most consistent predictor of neuropsychological performance, after controlling for potentially confounding variables including total brain volume, IQ, and age.
Conclusions
These data are consistent with previous research associating gestational alcohol exposure with structural and functional changes of the caudate nucleus. Our findings extend this previous work by demonstrating that volume reductions of the caudate have behavioral relevance for this population, in relation to cognitive control and verbal learning and recall abilities.
doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01811.x
PMCID: PMC3723132  PMID: 22551091
fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD); fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS); brain-behavior correlations; verbal learning/recall; cognitive control
2.  Clinical factors related to brain structure in HIV: the CHARTER study 
Journal of neurovirology  2011;17(3):248-257.
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.
doi:10.1007/s13365-011-0032-7
PMCID: PMC3702821  PMID: 21544705
HIV; MRI; Neuroimaging; Immunospupression
3.  Functional interactions of HIV-infection and methamphetamine dependence during motor programming 
Psychiatry Research  2012;202(1):46-52.
Methamphetamine (METH) dependence is frequently comorbid with HIV infection and both have been linked to alterations of brain structure and function. In a previous study, we showed that the brain volume loss characteristic of HIV infection contrasts with METH-related volume increases in striatum and parietal cortex, suggesting distinct neurobiological responses to HIV and METH (Jernigan et al., 2005). fMRI has the potential to reveal functional interactions between the effects of HIV and METH. In the present study, 50 participants were studied in four groups: an HIV+ group, a recently METH dependent group, a dually affected group, and a group of unaffected community comparison subjects. An fMRI paradigm consisting of motor sequencing tasks of varying levels of complexity was administered to examine blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) changes. Within all groups, activity increased significantly with increasing task complexity in large clusters within sensorimotor and parietal cortex, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and cingulate. The task complexity effect was regressed on HIV status, METH status, and the HIVxMETH interaction term in a simultaneous multiple regression. HIV was associated with less complexity-related activation in striatum, whereas METH was associated with less complexity-related activation in parietal regions. Significant interaction effects were observed in both cortical and subcortical regions; and, contrary to expectations, the complexity-related activation was less aberrant in dually-affected than in single-risk participants, in spite of comparable levels of neurocognitive impairment among the clinical groups. Thus, HIV and METH dependence, perhaps through their effects on dopaminergic systems, may have opposing functional effects on neural circuits involved in motor programming.
doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2012.03.006
PMCID: PMC3380171  PMID: 22608157
FMRI; neuroimaging; dopamine; drug abuse
4.  Mental health outcomes in HIV and childhood maltreatment: a systematic review 
Systematic Reviews  2012;1:30.
Background
High rates of childhood maltreatment have been documented in HIV-positive men and women. In addition, mental disorders are highly prevalent in both HIV-infected individuals and victims of childhood maltreatment. However, there is a paucity of research investigating the mental health outcomes associated with childhood maltreatment in the context of HIV infection. The present systematic review assessed mental health outcomes in HIV-positive individuals who were victims of childhood maltreatment.
Methods
A systematic search of all retrospective, prospective, or clinical trial studies assessing mental health outcomes associated with HIV and childhood maltreatment. The following online databases were searched on 25–31 August 2010: PubMed, Social Science Citation Index, and the Cochrane Library (the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems, HIV/AIDS, and Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis registers).
Results
We identified 34 studies suitable for inclusion. A total of 14,935 participants were included in these studies. A variety of mixed mental health outcomes were reported. The most commonly reported psychiatric disorders among HIV-positive individuals with a history of childhood maltreatment included: substance abuse, major depressive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. An association between childhood maltreatment and poor adherence to antiretroviral regimens was also reported in some studies.
Conclusion
A broad range of adult psychopathology has been reported in studies of HIV-infected individuals with a history of childhood maltreatment. However, a direct causal link cannot be well established. Longer term assessment will better delineate the nature, severity, and temporal relationship of childhood maltreatment to mental health outcomes.
doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-30
PMCID: PMC3441909  PMID: 22742536
AIDS; Anxiety; Childhood maltreatment; Depression; HIV; Psychiatric morbidity; Substance abuse
5.  Impact of childhood trauma on functionality and quality of life in HIV-infected women 
Background
While there are many published studies on HIV and functional limitations, there are few in the context of early abuse and its impact on functionality and Quality of Life (QoL) in HIV.
Methods
The present study focused on HIV in the context of childhood trauma and its impact on functionality and Quality of Life (QoL) by evaluating 85 HIV-positive (48 with childhood trauma and 37 without) and 52 HIV-negative (21 with childhood trauma and 31 without) South African women infected with Clade C HIV. QoL was assessed using the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q), the Patient's Assessment of Own Functioning Inventory (PAOFI), the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) scale and the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Furthermore, participants were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ).
Results
Subjects had a mean age of 30.1 years. After controlling for age, level of education and CES-D scores, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) demonstrated significant individual effects of HIV status and childhood trauma on self-reported QoL. No significant interactional effects were evident. Functional limitation was, however, negatively correlated with CD4 lymphocyte count.
Conclusions
In assessing QoL in HIV-infected women, we were able to demonstrate the impact of childhood trauma on functional limitations in HIV.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-9-84
PMCID: PMC3198878  PMID: 21958030
HIV; Quality of Life; Childhood trauma; Functionality
6.  Does amygdalar perfusion correlate with antidepressant response to partial sleep deprivation in major depression? 
Psychiatry research  2005;146(1):43-51.
This study used functional MRI (fMRI) to clarify the sites of brain activity associated with the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation (SD). We hypothesized: (1) baseline perfusion in right and left amygdalae will be greater in responders than in nonresponders; (2) following partial sleep deprivation (PSD), perfusion in responders’ right and left amygdalae would decrease. Seventeen unmedicated outpatients with current major depression and eight controls received perfusion-weighted fMRI and structural MRI at baseline and following 1 night of late-night PSD. Baseline bilateral amygdalar perfusion was greater in responders than nonresponders. Clusters involving both amygdalae decreased from baseline to PSD specifically in responders. Right amygdalar perfusion diverged with PSD, increasing in nonresponders and decreasing in responders. These novel amygdalar findings are consistent with the overarousal hypothesis of SD as well as other functional imaging studies showing increased baseline amygdalar activity in depression and decreased amygdalar activity with remission or antidepressant medications.
doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2005.09.007
PMCID: PMC2468214  PMID: 16380239
Magnetic resonance imaging; functional; Depressive disorder; major
7.  Are Time- and Event-based Prospective Memory Comparably Affected in HIV Infection?† 
According to the multi-process theory of prospective memory (ProM), time-based tasks rely more heavily on strategic processes dependent on prefrontal systems than do event-based tasks. Given the prominent frontostriatal pathophysiology of HIV infection, one would expect HIV-infected individuals to demonstrate greater deficits in time-based versus event-based ProM. However, the two prior studies examining this question have produced variable results. We evaluated this hypothesis in 143 individuals with HIV infection and 43 demographically similar seronegative adults (HIV−) who completed the research version of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test, which yields parallel subscales of time- and event-based ProM. Results showed main effects of HIV serostatus and cue type, but no interaction between serostatus and cue. Planned pair-wise comparisons showed a significant effect of HIV on time-based ProM and a trend-level effect on event-based ProM that was driven primarily by the subset of participants with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Nevertheless, time-based ProM was more strongly correlated with measures of executive functions, attention/working memory, and verbal fluency in HIV-infected persons. Although HIV-associated deficits in time- and event-based ProM appear to be of comparable severity, the cognitive architecture of time-based ProM may be more strongly influenced by strategic monitoring and retrieval processes.
doi:10.1093/arclin/acr020
PMCID: PMC3081684  PMID: 21459901
AIDS dementia complex; Episodic memory; Executive functions; Neuropsychological assessment

Results 1-7 (7)