Neuroimaging markers of human immunodeficiency virus infection in South Africa

Heaps J.M. ; Joska J. ; Hoare J. ; Ortega M. ; Agrawa A. ; Seedat S. ; Ances B.M. ; Stein D.J. ; Paul R. (2012)


Previous studies have reported cognitive deficits among HIV-positive individuals infected with clade C virus. However, no study has examined whether individuals predominately infected with clade C virus exhibit brain atrophy relative to healthy controls. This study examined volumetric differences between 28 HIV+ individuals and 23 HIV? controls from South Africa. Volumetric measures were obtained from six regions of interest - caudate, thalamus, corpus callosum, total cortex, total gray matter, and total white matter. HIV+ participants had significantly lower volumes in the total white matter (p<0.01), thalamus (p<0.01) and total gray matter (inclusive of cortical and subcortical regions, p<0.01). This study is the first to provide evidence of brain atrophy among HIV+ individuals in South Africa, where HIV clade C predominates. Additional research that integrates neuroimaging, comprehensive neuropsychological testing, genetic variance in clade-specific proteins, and the impact of treatment with Antiretrovirals (ARV) are necessary to understand the development of HIV-related neurocognitive disorders in South Africa. © Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2012.

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