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The Johns Hopkins NIMH Center for Novel Therapeutics for HIV-associated Cognitive Disorders

The Johns Hopkins NIMH Center comprises an interdisciplinary research team who has pooled their talents to study the nature of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Their aim is to translate discoveries of the pathophysiological mechanisms into novel therapeutics for HAND.

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Neurologic Complications and Considerations in HIV-Infected Persons

McArthur J1, Smith B
Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2013 Feb;15(1):61-6. doi: 10.1007/s11908-012-0312-2.

Article-HandFig. 1: Different mechanisms (cerebrovascular disease, amyloid deposition, and comorbidities) for varied age groups may contribute to decreased brain reserve that promulgates HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Courtesy of Ned Sacktor, MD

Overview: Neurologic complications for HIV-infected persons retain significant prevalence despite an increasingly global use of antiretroviral therapies. This paper will provide a more detailed review of the most common neurologic complications of HIV infection, and will highlight some of the challenges involved with diagnosis, management, and long-term effects. Understanding specific considerations for HIV -associated complications, including the epidemiology, risk factors, medication-adverse effects, and benefits of appropriate management, is vital for all providers caring for those withHIV. 

Featured Publications

Identification of Putative Biomarkers for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Impairment in the CSF of HIV-infected Patients under cART Therapy Determined by Mass Spectrometry
Bora AUbaida Mohien CChaerkady RChang LMoxley R 4thSacktor NHaughey NMcArthur JCCotter RNath AGraham DR.
Journal of Neuroviology. 2014. 20(5):457-465

Overview: We identified and measured proteins in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) involved in HIV-associated neurological disorders. Our results suggest that not only a few but possibly a combination of biomarkers that are highly correlated can predict neurocognitive status in HIV-infected patients and might be involved in monocyte or macrophage activation.

Controversies in HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders
Nightingale S, Winston A, Letendre S, Michael BD, McArthur JC, Khoo S, Solomon T
Lancet Neurol. 2014 Nov; 13(11):1139-1151
HAND article
Figure 3: Summary of the Frascati criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

Overview: Cross-sectional studies show that around half of individuals infected with HIV-1 have some degree of cognitive impairment despite the use of antiretroviral drugs. However, prevalence estimates vary depending on the population and methods used to assess cognitive impairment. Whether asymptomatic patients would benefit from routine screening for cognitive difficulties is unclear and the appropriate screening method and subsequent management is the subject of debate. The extent to which antiretroviral drug distribution and toxicity in the CNS affect clinical decision making is also debated.

Featured Podcast

Broadcast: October 2014
Clinical and ethical judgment: A profound dilemma 
Highlight: The second part of this podcast includes an interview by NIMH Center Director, Justin McArthur, MBBS, MPH, FAAN, discussing salient and clinically relevant features of HIV and its neurologic complications.

JHU NIMH Center and Collaborator Events

Webcasts for the Annual NeuroHIV Symposium's Morning and Afternoon sessions held on Friday, June 19th, 2015:

 HIV Symposium

  • Johns Hopkins Faculty and Guest Lecturers present their work at these regularly scheduled conferences:
    • Neuroimmunology Seminar Series: Tuesdays (varies), 1:30 p.m., Meyer 1-191 (Resumes September 2015)
    • NeuroAIDS Lecture Series: Every Friday, 11 a.m., Meyer 8 Library (Resumes September 2015)
  • Collaborator Events:

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The Johns Hopkins Center for Novel Therapeutics for HIV-associated Cognitive Disorders is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH Grant P30MH075673

Learn more about the NIMH: National Institute of Mental Health / Research on HIV and AIDS


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Clinical Perspectives

HANSA 2011 Presentations

View a presentation by Dr Justin McArthur entitled "NeuroAIDS Research Needs in the Era of HAART."
Learn more.

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