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.
AIDS dementia complex; Episodic memory; Executive functions; Neuropsychological assessment
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders remain common despite use of potent antiretroviral therapy (ART). Ongoing viral replication due to poor distribution of antivirals into the CNS may increase risk for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. This study's objective was to determine penetration of a commonly prescribed antiretroviral drug, efavirenz, into CSF.
CHARTER is an ongoing, North American, multicentre, observational study to determine the effects of ART on HIV-associated neurological disease. Single random plasma and CSF samples were drawn within 1 h of each other from subjects taking efavirenz between September 2003 and July 2007. Samples were assayed by HPLC or HPLC/mass spectrometry with detection limits of 39 ng/mL (plasma) and <0.1 ng/mL (CSF).
Eighty participants (age 44 ± 8 years; 79 ± 15 kg; 20 females) had samples drawn 12.5 ± 5.4 h post-dose. The median efavirenz concentrations after a median of 7 months [interquartile range (IQR) 2–17] of therapy were 2145 ng/mL in plasma (IQR 1384–4423) and 13.9 ng/mL in CSF (IQR 4.1–21.2). The CSF/plasma concentration ratio from paired samples drawn within 1 h of each other was 0.005 (IQR 0.0026–0.0076; n = 69). The CSF/IC50 ratio was 26 (IQR 8–41) using the published IC50 for wild-type HIV (0.51 ng/mL). Two CSF samples had concentrations below the efavirenz IC50 for wild-type HIV.
Efavirenz concentrations in the CSF are only 0.5% of plasma concentrations but exceed the wild-type IC50 in nearly all individuals. Since CSF drug concentrations reflect those in brain interstitial fluids, efavirenz reaches therapeutic concentrations in brain tissue.
CNS; pharmacology; non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
To estimate neuropathic sign/symptom rates with initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in HIV-infected ART-naive patients, and to investigate risk factors for: peripheral neuropathy and symptomatic peripheral neuropathy (SPN), recovery from peripheral neuropathy/SPN after neurotoxic ART (nART) discontinuation, and the absence of peripheral neuropathy/SPN while on nART.
AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trial participants who initiated cART in randomized trials for ART-naive patients were annually screened for symptoms/signs of peripheral neuropathy. ART use and disease characteristics were collected longitudinally.
Peripheral neuropathy was defined as at least mild loss of vibration sensation in both great toes or absent/hypoactive ankle reflexes bilaterally. SPN was defined as peripheral neuropathy and bilateral symptoms. Generalized estimating equation logistic regression was used to estimate associations.
Two thousand, one hundred and forty-one participants were followed from January 2000 to June 2007. Rates of peripheral neuropathy/SPN at 3 years were 32.1/8.6% despite 87.1% with HIV-1RNA 400 copies/ml or less and 70.3% with CD4 greater than 350 cells/µl. Associations with higher odds of peripheral neuropathy included older patient age and current nART use. Associations with higher odds of SPN included older patient age, nART use, and history of diabetes mellitus. Associations with lower odds of recovery after nART discontinuation included older patient age. Associations with higher odds of peripheral neuropathy while on nART included older patient age and current protease inhibitor use. Associations with higher odds of SPN while on nART included older patient age, history of diabetes, taller height, and protease inhibitor use.
Signs of peripheral neuropathy remain despite virologic/immunologic control but frequently occurs without symptoms. Aging is a risk factor for peripheral neuropathy/SPN.
aging; antiretroviral therapy; HIV; neurological; peripheral neuropathy; risk factors
HIV-associated sensory neuropathy remains an important complication of combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) and HIV infection. Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have previously been associated with symptomatic neuropathy in clinical trial participants. We examined associations between mitochondrial DNA variation and HIV-associated sensory neuropathy in CHARTER. CHARTER is a U.S. based longitudinal observational study of HIV-infected adults who underwent a structured interview and standardized examination. HIV-associated sensory neuropathy was determined by trained examiners as ≥1 sign (diminished vibratory and sharp-dull discrimination or ankle reflexes) bilaterally. Mitochondrial DNA sequencing was performed and haplogroups were assigned by published algorithms. Multivariable logistic regression of associations between mitochondrial DNA SNPs, haplogroups and HIV-associated sensory neuropathy were performed. In analyses of associations of each mitochondrial DNA SNP with HIV-associated sensory neuropathy, the two most significant SNPs were at positions A12810G (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 0.27 [0.11-0.65]; p = 0.004) and T489C (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 0.41 [0.21-0.80]; p = 0.009). These synonymous changes are known to define African haplogroup L1c and European haplogroup J, respectively. Both haplogroups are associated with decreased prevalence of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy compared with all other haplogroups (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 0.29 [0.12-0.71]; p = 0.007 and odds ratio [95% confidence interval] = 0.42 [0.18-1.0]; p = 0.05, respectively). In conclusion, in this cohort of mostly combination antiretroviral therapy-treated subjects, two common mitochondrial DNA SNPs and their corresponding haplogroups were associated with a markedly decreased prevalence of HIV-associated sensory neuropathy.
genetics; mitochondria; HIV-related neurological diseases; peripheral neuropathy
To describe a severe form of demyelinating HIV-associated leukoencephalopathy in AIDS patients failing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), its relationship to clinical and neuroimaging findings, and suggest hypotheses regarding pathogenesis.
Design and methods
AIDS patients who failed HAART and displayed severe leukoencephalopathy were included. All cases had detailed neuromedical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and postmortem neuropathological examination. Immunocytochemical and PCR analyses were performed to determine brain HIV levels and to exclude other viruses.
Seven recent autopsy cases of leukoencephalopathy in antiretroviral-experienced patients with AIDS were identified. Clinically, all were severely immunosuppressed, six (86%) had poorly controlled HIV replication despite combination antiretroviral therapy, and five (71%) had HIV-associated dementia. Neuropathologically, all seven had intense perivascular infiltration by HIV-gp41 immunoreactive monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes, widespread myelin loss, axonal injury, microgliosis and astrogliosis. The extent of damage exceeds that described prior to the use of HAART. Brain tissue demonstrated high levels of HIV RNA but evidence of other pathogens, such as JC virus, Epstein–Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, human herpes virus type-8, and herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, was absent. Comparison of the stages of pathology suggests a temporal sequence of events. In this model, white matter damage begins with perivascular infiltration by HIV-infected monocytes, which may occur as a consequence of antiretroviral-associated immune restoration. Intense infiltration by immune cells injures brain endothelial cells and is followed by myelin loss, axonal damage, and finally, astrogliosis.
Taken together, our findings provide evidence for the emergence of a severe form of HIV-associated leukoencephalopathy. This condition warrants further study and increased vigilance among those who provide care for HIV-infected individuals.
HIV leukoencephalopathy; antiretroviral therapy
To determine the frequency and risk factors of post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) in research volunteers.
Despite increasing interest in measuring cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers to investigate disease pathogenesis and diagnosis, previous case series have evaluated lumbar puncture (LP) safety only in clinical care. PDPH is a common complication after LP.
We determined the frequency of post-dural puncture headache (PDPH) in neurologically unselected HIV seropositive and seronegative adults volunteering for research, as well as the variables associated with the development of (PDPH). Variables studied were BMI, HIV serostatus, volume of CSF removed, number of previous LPs, use of pre-medication, LP position, lumbar space, number of needle passes, whether or not aspiration was used, CSF WBC, CSF RBC, CD4 count, CD4 nadir, CSF HIV viral load, plasma HIV viral load, and race.
Of 675 LPs performed over one year, headache developed in 38 (5.6%; 95% CI 4.2, 7.1)). Most PDPH (92%) resolved spontaneously or with conservative medical management; 3 required epidural blood patch. Greater headache risk was associated with lower body mass index (BMI ≤ 25 versus > 25) (OR 3.3; CI 95% 1.5, 7.0; p=0.001) and less prior LP experience (previous LPs ≤ 2 vs > 2) (OR 2.1; CI 95% 1.1, 4.1; p=0.03). PDPH was not significantly (p > .05) related to HIV serostatus, CSF volume, or gender.
In this study, where tolerance to risk was low because LPs were done for research rather than clinical purposes and healthy controls were included, adverse effects were mild and self-limited.
dural puncture headache (PDPH); Post-lumbar puncture headache; CSF; HIV
Antiretrovirals that reach higher concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are associated with better control of HIV in CSF and possibly better neurocognitive performance. The objective of this study was to determine whether amprenavir (APV) concentrations in CSF are in the therapeutic range. Individuals were selected based on the use of regimens that included fosamprenavir (FPV), a prodrug of APV, and the availability of stored CSF and matched plasma. Total APV was measured in 119 matched CSF-plasma pairs from 75 subjects by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (plasma) or liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) (CSF). Concentrations were compared to the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) for wild-type HIV (5.6 ng/ml). Subjects were predominantly middle-aged (median 44 years) white (57%) men (78%) with AIDS (77%). APV was detected in all but 4 CSF specimens, with a median concentration of 24.8 ng/ml (interquartile range [IQR], 16.2 to 44.0). The median CSF-to-plasma ratio was 0.012 (IQR, 0.008 to 0.018). CSF concentrations correlated with plasma concentrations (rho = 0.61; P < 0.0001) and with postdose sampling interval (rho = −0.29; P = 0.0019). APV concentrations in CSF exceeded the median IC50 for wild-type HIV in more than 97% of CSF specimens with detectable APV by a median of 4.4-fold (IQR, 2.9 to 7.9). We conclude that administration of fosamprenavir should contribute to control of HIV replication in the central nervous system (CNS) as a component of effective antiretroviral regimens.
to measure maraviroc total cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations and compare them with total and unbound plasma concentrations.
Total maraviroc was measured by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry while ultrafiltration was used for unbound maraviroc.
Maraviroc was detected in all nine CSF/plasma pairs with a median CSF total concentration of 2.4 ng/mL. CSF concentrations exceeded the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of wild-type CCR5-tropic HIV-1 in all specimens.
CSF concentrations are lower than expected based on plasma concentrations and physicochemical characteristics. Unbound maraviroc plasma concentrations may be informative in estimating concentrations in CSF.
cerebrospinal fluid; HIV; 50% inhibitory concentration; maraviroc; pharmacokinetics
Script generation describes one’s ability to produce complex, sequential action plans derived from mental representations of everyday activities. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of HIV infection on script generation performance. Sixty HIV+ individuals (48% of whom had HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders [HAND]) and 26 demographically comparable HIV− participants were administered a novel, standardized test of script generation, which required participants to verbally generate and organize the necessary steps for completing six daily activities. HAND participants evidenced significantly more total errors, intrusions, and script boundary errors compared to the HIV-sample, indicating difficulties inhibiting irrelevant actions and staying within the prescribed boundaries of scripts, but had adequate knowledge of the relevant actions required for each script. These findings are generally consistent with the executive dysfunction and slowing common in HAND and suggest that script generation may play a role in everyday functioning problems in HIV.
Human immunodeficiency virus; cognition; neuropsychology; activities of daily living; executive functions; frontal lobes
CD163, a monocyte- and macrophage-specific scavenger receptor, is shed during activation as soluble CD163 (sCD163). We have previously demonstrated that monocyte expansion from bone marrow with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection correlated with plasma sCD163, the rate of AIDS progression, and the severity of macrophage-mediated pathogenesis. Here, we examined sCD163 in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. sCD163 was elevated in the plasma of individuals with chronic HIV infection (>1 year in duration), compared with HIV-seronegative individuals. With effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), sCD163 levels decreased in parallel with HIV RNA levels but did not return to HIV-seronegative levels, suggesting the presence of residual monocyte/macrophage activation even with plasma viral loads below the limit of detection. In individuals with early HIV infection (≤1 year in duration), effective ART resulted in decreased sCD163 levels that were comparable to levels in HIV-seronegative individuals. sCD163 levels in plasma were positively correlated with the percentage of CD14+CD16+ monocytes and activated CD8+HLA-DR+CD38+ T lymphocytes and were inversely correlated with CD163 expression on CD14+CD16+ monocytes. With ART interruption in subjects with early HIV infection, sCD163 and plasma virus levels spiked but rapidly returned to baseline with reinitiation of ART. This study points to the utility of monocyte- and macrophage-derived sCD163 as a marker of HIV activity that links viral replication with monocyte and macrophage activation. These observations underscore the significance of monocyte and macrophage immune responses with HIV pathogenesis.
A subset of individuals with HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment experience related deficits in “real world” functioning (i.e., independently performing instrumental activities of daily living [IADL]). While performance-based tests of everyday functioning are reasonably sensitive to HIV-associated IADL declines, questions remain regarding the extent to which these tests’ highly structured nature fully captures the inherent complexities of daily life. The aim of this study was to assess the predictive and ecological validity of a novel multitasking measure in HIV infection.
Participants included 60 individuals with HIV infection (HIV+) and 25 demographically comparable seronegative adults (HIV−). Participants were administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, questionnaires assessing mood and everyday functioning, and a novel standardized test of multitasking, which involved balancing the demands of four interconnected performance-based functional tasks (i.e., financial management, cooking, medication management, and telephone communication).
HIV+ individuals demonstrated significantly worse overall performance, fewer simultaneous task attempts, and increased errors on the multitasking test as compared to the HIV− sample. Within the HIV+ sample, multitasking impairments were modestly associated with deficits on standard neuropsychological measures of executive functions, episodic memory, attention/working memory, and information processing speed, providing preliminary evidence for convergent validity. More importantly, multivariate prediction models revealed that multitasking deficits were uniquely predictive of IADL dependence beyond the effects of depression and global neurocognitive impairment, with excellent sensitivity (86%), but modest specificity (57%).
Taken together, these data indicate that multitasking ability may play an important role in successful everyday functioning in HIV+ individuals.
HIV; cognition; neuropsychology; activities of daily living; executive functions
Reliable detection and quantification of longitudinal cognitive change are of considerable importance in many neurological disorders, particularly to monitor central nervous system effects of disease progression and treatment. In the current study, we developed normative data for repeated neuropsychological (NP) assessments (6 testings) using a modified Standard Regression-Based (SRB) approach in a sample that includes both HIV-uninfected (HIV−, N=172) and neuromedically stable HIV-infected (HIV+, N=124) individuals. Prior analyzes indicated no differences in NP change between the infected and uninfected participants. The norms for change included correction for factors found to significantly affect follow-up performance, using hierarchical regression. The most robust and consistent predictors of follow-up performance were the prior performance on the same test (which contributed in all models) and a measure of prior overall NP competence (predictor in 97% of all models). Demographic variables were predictors in 10%-46% of all models and in small amounts; while test retest interval contributed in only 6% of all models. Based on the regression equations, standardized change scores (z-scores) were computed for each test measure at each interval; these z scores were then averaged to create a total battery change score. An independent sample of HIV− participants who had completed 8 of the 15 tests was used to validate an abridged summary change score. The normative data are available in an electronic format by email request to the first author. Correction for practice effects based on normative data improved the consistency of NP impairment classification in a clinically stable longitudinal cohort after baseline.
Normative data; longitudinal studies; regression; regression change score; SRB; practice effect
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders continue to be common. Antiretrovirals that achieve higher concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are associated with better control of HIV and improved cognition. The objective of this study was to measure total raltegravir (RAL) concentrations in CSF and to compare them with matched concentrations in plasma and in vitro inhibitory concentrations. Eighteen subjects with HIV-1 infection were enrolled based on the use of RAL-containing regimens and the availability of CSF and matched plasma samples. RAL was measured in 21 CSF and plasma pairs by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and HIV RNA was detected by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). RAL concentrations were compared to the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) for wild-type HIV-1 (3.2 ng/ml). Volunteers were predominantly middle-aged white men with AIDS and without hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection. The median concurrent CD4+ cell count was 276/μl, and 28% of CD4+ cell counts were below 200/μl. HIV RNA was detectable in 38% of plasma specimens and 4% of CSF specimens. RAL was present in all CSF specimens, with a median total concentration of 14.5 ng/ml. The median concentration in plasma was 260.9 ng/ml, with a median CSF-to-plasma ratio of 0.058. Concentrations in CSF correlated with those in with plasma (r2, 0.24; P, 0.02) but not with the postdose sampling time (P, >0.50). RAL concentrations in CSF exceeded the IC50 for wild-type HIV in all specimens by a median of 4.5-fold. RAL is present in CSF and reaches sufficiently high concentrations to inhibit wild-type HIV in all individuals. As a component of effective antiretroviral regimens or as the main antiretroviral, RAL likely contributes to the control of HIV replication in the nervous system.
To characterize HIV-1 env compartmentalization between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and peripheral blood plasma over all stages of the HIV-1 disease course, and to determine the relationship between the extent of CSF HIV-1 env compartmentalization and clinical neurologic disease status.
Paired blood plasma and CSF specimens were collected from 66 HIV-infected patients cross-sectionally representing all major clinical stages relating to HIV-associated neurologic disease, including primary infection, asymptomatic chronic infection, chronic infection with minor global impairment, and immune deficiency with HIV-associated dementia.
Heteroduplex tracking assays and bulk sequence analysis targeting the V1/V2, C2-V3, and V4/V5 regions of env were performed to characterize the genetic makeup of complex HIV-1 populations in the cross-sectional blood plasma and CSF specimens. The levels of blood plasma/CSF env compartmentalization were quantified and compared across the different clinical stages of HIV-1 neurologic disease.
Blood plasma/CSF env compartmentalization levels varied considerably by disease stage and were generally consistent across all three regions of env characterized. Little or no compartmentalization was observed in non-impaired individuals with primary HIV-1 infection. Compartmentalization levels were elevated in chronically infected patients, but were not significantly different between mildly impaired and non-impaired patients. Patients with HIV-associated dementia showed significantly greater blood plasma/CSF env compartmentalization relative to other groups.
Increased CSF compartmentalization of the HIV-1 env gene, which may reflect independent HIV-1 replication and evolution within the central nervous system, is specifically associated with HIV-associated dementia and not the less severe forms of HIV-1 neurologic disease.
central nervous system; cerebrospinal fluid; compartmentalization; env; HIV type 1; NeuroAIDS
Substantial work on the peripheral and central nervous system complications of HIV was presented at the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Six studies of more than 4500 volunteers identified that distal sensory polyneuropathy remains common, ranging from 19% to 66%, with variation based on disease stage, type of antiretroviral therapy, age, and height. Eight studies of more than 2500 volunteers identified that neurocognitive disorders are also common, ranging from 25% to 69%, with variation based on stage of disease, antiretroviral use, diabetes mellitus, and coinfection with hepatitis viruses. Therapy-focused studies identified that resistance testing of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-derived HIV may improve management of people with HIV-associated neurologic complications, that poorly penetrating antiretroviral therapy is associated with persistent low-level HIV RNA in CSF, and that efavirenz concentrations in CSF are low but in the therapeutic range in most individuals. Neuroimaging reports identified that people living with HIV had abnormal findings on magnetic resonance imaging (gray matter atrophy, abnormal white matter), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (lower neuronal metabolites), and blood-oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (lower cerebral blood flow). Other important findings on the basic neuroscience of HIV and diagnosis and management of neurologic opportunistic infections are discussed.
Despite management with opioids and other pain modifying therapies, neuropathic pain continues to reduce the quality of life and daily functioning in HIV-infected individuals. Cannabinoid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems have been shown to modulate pain perception. We conducted a clinical trial to assess the impact of smoked cannabis on neuropathic pain in HIV. This was a phase II, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of analgesia with smoked cannabis in HIV-associated distal sensory predominant polyneuropathy (DSPN). Eligible subjects had neuropathic pain refractory to at least two previous analgesic classes; they continued on their prestudy analgesic regimens throughout the trial. Regulatory considerations dictated that subjects smoke under direct observation in a hospital setting. Treatments were placebo and active cannabis ranging in potency between 1 and 8% Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, four times daily for 5 consecutive days during each of 2 treatment weeks, separated by a 2-week washout. The primary outcome was change in pain intensity as measured by the Descriptor Differential Scale (DDS) from a pretreatment baseline to the end of each treatment week. Secondary measures included assessments of mood and daily functioning. Of 127 volunteers screened, 34 eligible subjects enrolled and 28 completed both cannabis and placebo treatments. Among the completers, pain relief was greater with cannabis than placebo (median difference in DDS pain intensity change, 3.3 points, effect size = 0.60; p = 0.016). The proportions of subjects achieving at least 30% pain relief with cannabis versus placebo were 0.46 (95%CI 0.28, 0.65) and 0.18 (0.03, 0.32). Mood and daily functioning improved to a similar extent during both treatment periods. Although most side effects were mild and self-limited, two subjects experienced treatment-limiting toxicities. Smoked cannabis was generally well tolerated and effective when added to concomitant analgesic therapy in patients with medically refractory pain due to HIV DSPN.
HIV; clinical; neuropathic pain; cannabis; polyneuropathy
Approximately half of those infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) exhibit cognitive impairment, which has been related to cerebral white matter damage. Despite the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment, cognitive impairment remains common even in individuals with undetectable viral loads. One explanation for this may be subtherapeutic concentrations of some antiretrovirals in the central nervous system (CNS). We utilized diffusion tensor imaging and a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation to investigate the relationship of white matter integrity to cognitive impairment and antiretroviral treatment variables. Participants included 39 HIV-infected individuals (49% with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]; mean CD4=529) and 25 seronegative subjects. Diffusion tensor imaging indices were mapped onto a common whole-brain white matter tract skeleton, allowing between-subject voxelwise comparisons. The total HIV-infected group exhibited abnormal white matter in the internal capsule, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, and optic radiation; whereas those with AIDS exhibited more widespread damage, including in the internal capsule and the corpus callosum. Cognitive impairment in the HIV-infected group was related to white matter injury in the internal capsule, corpus callosum, and superior longitudinal fasciculus. White matter injury was not found to be associated with HIV viral load or estimated CNS penetration of antiretrovirals. Diffusion tensor imaging was useful in identifying changes in white matter tracts associated with more advanced HIV infection. Relationships between diffusion alterations in specific white matter tracts and cognitive impairment support the potential utility of diffusion tensor imaging in examining the anatomical underpinnings of HIV-related cognitive impairment. The study also confirms that CNS injury is evident in persons infected with HIV despite effective antiretroviral treatment.
diffusion tensor imaging; HIV dementia; neuropsychological assessment
We explored the possible augmenting effect of traumatic brain injury (TBI) history on HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) associated neurocognitive complications. HIV-infected participants with self-reported history of definite TBI were compared to HIV patients without TBI history. Groups were equated for relevant demographic and HIV-associated characteristics. The TBI group evidenced significantly greater deficits in executive functioning and working memory. N-acetylaspartate, a putative marker of neuronal integrity, was significantly lower in the frontal gray matter and basal ganglia brain regions of the TBI group. Together, these results suggest an additional brain impact of TBI over that from HIV alone. One clinical implication is that HIV patients with TBI history may need to be monitored more closely for increased risk of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder signs or symptoms.
Head injury; HIV associated neurocognitive disorder; Neuropsychological performance; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; N-acetylaspartate
When antiretroviral therapy does not fully suppress HIV replication, suboptimal levels of antiretrovirals can select for antiretroviral resistant variants of HIV. These variants may exhibit reduced replication capacity and result in lower viral loads in blood. Our study evaluated whether antiretroviral resistance was associated with viral loads in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and better neuropsychological (NP) performance.
We enrolled ninety-four participants and each participant underwent a comprehensive neuromedical evaluation that used structured clinical assessments of medical history, ART and other medication use, comprehensive NP testing and neurological and general physical signs of disease. Blood was collected by venipuncture and all participants were offered lumbar puncture. Univariate and multivariate statistical methods were used to analyze the relationship between antiretroviral resistance, blood and CSF HIV RNA levels, substance use, and NP performance.
Antiretroviral resistance, detected in blood, was associated with lower CSF viral loads (p<0.01) and better NP performance (p=0.04) in multivariate analyses, independent of past and current ARV use and blood viral loads (Model: p< 0.01). However, HIV RNA levels in CSF did not independently correlate with NP performance. Low viral loads in the CSF limited our ability to investigate the relationship between antiretroviral resistance detected in CSF and NP performance.
Even in the absence of ART, antiretroviral resistance-associated mutations correlate with better NP performance possibly because these mutations reflect reduced neurovirulence compared with wild-type HIV.
We investigated interactions between HIV and aging on brain function demands using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A multiple regression model studied the association and interaction between fMRI measures, HIV serostatus, and age for 26 HIV infected (HIV+) and 25 seronegative (HIV−) subjects. While HIV serostatus and age independently affected fMRI measures, no interaction occurred. Functional brain demands in HIV+ subjects were equivalent to ~15–20 year older HIV− subjects. Frailty parallels between HIV and aging could result from continued immunological challenges depleting resources and triggering increased metabolic demands. fMRI could be a non-invasive biomarker to assess HIV in the brain.
HIV neurological disorders; aging; functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); cerebral blood flow and metabolism
Chemokines influence HIV neuropathogenesis by affecting the HIV life cycle, trafficking of macrophages into the nervous system, glial activation, and neuronal signaling and repair processes; however, knowledge of their relationship to in vivo measures of cerebral injury is limited. The primary objective of this study was to determine the relationship between a panel of chemokines in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and cerebral metabolites measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in a cohort of HIV-infected individuals. One hundred seventy-one stored CSF specimens were assayed from HIV-infected individuals who were enrolled in two ACTG studies that evaluated the relationship between neuropsychological performance and cerebral metabolites. Concentrations of six chemokines (fractalkine, IL-8, IP-10, MCP-1, MIP-1β, and SDF-1) were measured and compared with cerebral metabolites individually and as composite neuronal, basal ganglia, and inflammatory patterns. IP-10 and MCP-1 were the chemokines most strongly associated with individual cerebral metabolites. Specifically, (1) higher IP-10 levels correlated with lower N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr) ratios in the frontal white matter and higher MI/Cr ratios in all three brain regions considered and (2) higher MCP-1 levels correlated with lower NAA/Cr ratios in frontal white matter and the parietal cortex. IP-10, MCP-1, and IL-8 had the strongest associations with patterns of cerebral metabolites. In particular, higher levels of IP-10 correlated with lower neuronal pattern scores and higher basal ganglia and inflammatory pattern scores, the same pattern which has been associated with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Subgroup analysis indicated that the effects of IP-10 and IL-8 were influenced by effective antiretroviral therapy and that memantine treatment may mitigate the neuronal effects of IP-10. This study supports the role of chemokines in HAND and the validity of MRS as an assessment tool. In particular, the findings identify relationships between the immune response—particularly an interferon-inducible chemokine, IP-10—and cerebral metabolites and suggest that antiretroviral therapy and memantine modify the impact of the immune response on neurons.
CSF; Chemokines; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; HIV; Brain
Combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) has greatly reduced medical morbidity and mortality with HIV infection, but high rates of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) continue to be reported. Because large HIV-infected (HIV+) and uninfected (HIV−) groups have not been studied with similar methods in the pre-CART and CART eras, it is unclear whether CART has changed the prevalence, nature, and clinical correlates of HAND. We used comparable methods of subject screening and assessments to classify neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in large groups of HIV + and HIV − participants from the pre-CART era (1988–1995; N = 857) and CART era (2000–2007; N = 937). Impairment rate increased with successive disease stages (CDC stages A, B, and C) in both eras: 25%, 42%, and 52% in pre-CART era and 36%, 40%, and 45% in CART era. In the medically asymptomatic stage (CDC-A), NCI was significantly more common in the CART era. Low nadir CD4 predicted NCI in both eras, whereas degree of current immunosuppression, estimated duration of infection, and viral suppression in CSF (on treatment) were related to impairment only pre-CART. Pattern of NCI also differed: pre-CART had more impairment in motor skills, cognitive speed, and verbal fluency, whereas CART era involved more memory (learning) and executive function impairment. High rates of mild NCI persist at all stages of HIV infection, despite improved viral suppression and immune reconstitution with CART. The consistent association of NCI with nadir CD4 across eras suggests that earlier treatment to prevent severe immunosuppression may also help prevent HAND. Clinical trials targeting HAND prevention should specifically examine timing of ART initiation.
HIV; Combination antiretroviral therapy; HIV dementia
We examined neurocognitive functioning among persons with acute or early HIV infection (AEH) and hypothesized that the neurocognitive performance of AEH individuals would be intermediate between HIV seronegatives (HIV−) and those with chronic HIV infection. Comprehensive neurocognitive testing was accomplished with 39 AEH, 63 chronically HIV infected, and 38 HIV− participants. All AEH participants were HIV infected for less than 1 year. Average domain deficit scores were calculated in seven neurocognitive domains. HIV−, AEH, and chronically HIV infected groups were ranked from best (rank of 1) to worst (rank of 3) in each domain. All participants received detailed substance use, neuromedical, and psychiatric evaluations and HIV infected persons provided information on antiretroviral treatment and completed laboratory evaluations including plasma and CSF viral loads. A nonparametric test of ordered alternatives (Page test), and the appropriate nonparametric follow-up test, was used to evaluate level of neuropsychological (NP) functioning across and between groups. The median duration of infection for the AEH group was 16 weeks [interquartile range, IQR: 10.3–40.7] as compared to 4.9 years [2.8–11.1] in the chronic HIV group. A Page test using ranks of average scores in the seven neurocognitive domains showed a significant monotonic trend with the best neurocognitive functioning in the HIV− group (mean rank = 1.43), intermediate neurocognitive functioning in the AEH group (mean rank = 1.71), and the worst in the chronically HIV infected (mean rank = 2.86; L statistic = 94, p < 0.01); however, post-hoc testing comparing neurocognitive impairment of each group against each of the other groups showed that the chronically infected group was significantly different from both the HIV− and AEH groups on neurocognitive performance; the AEH group was statistically indistinguishable from the HIV− group. Regression models among HIV infected participants were unable to identify significant predictors of neurocognitive performance. Neurocognitive functioning was worst among persons with chronic HIV infection. Although a significant monotonic trend existed and patterns of the data suggest the AEH individuals may fall intermediate to HIV− and chronic participants, we were not able to statistically confirm this hypothesis.
HIV infection; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders; Acute or early HIV; Primary HIV
To evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of memantine use as treatment of HIV-associated cognitive impairment.
The results of a 20-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of memantine in HIV-infected participants with cognitive impairment (ACTG 301) were previously reported. We report the results of the up-to-60-week open-label phase following the double-blind phase.
Participants received open-label memantine and were escalated to a 40 mg/day dose or their maximum tolerated dose in the double-blind phase. Adverse experiences were used to evaluate safety, and changes in the mean of eight neuropsychological test scores (NPZ-8) were used to evaluate efficacy.
Ninety-nine participants entered the initial 12-week open-label phase and 45 in the additional 48-week extension. Twenty-seven participants reported severe adverse experiences. During the initial 12-week open-label phase, participants randomized to memantine in the double-blind phase had a statistically significant higher improvement in NPZ-8 compared to those randomized to placebo in the double-blind phase. No statistically significant NPZ-8 changes were detected during the 48-week extension.
Long-term use of memantine appears safe and tolerable. Future randomized studies with longer follow-up are necessary to establish efficacy of memantine for the treatment of HIV-associated cognitive impairment.
AIDS dementia; cognitive impairment; memantine; HIV