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.
Primary neurological complications of HIV-1/AIDS include:
- AIDS Dementia Complex: AIDS + memory loss, poor concentration, balance issues, clumsiness, mood changes, loss of energy, diminished ability to work or care for one's self
- Myelopathy: Literally means "disease of the spinal cord"; HIV-associated myelopathy can present as subacute or chronic leg weakness, spasticity, and hyperreflexia
- Myopathy: Progressive weakness of limb muscles, neck flexors
- Neuropathy: Nerve disease or dysfunction; numbness, tremor, tingling, pins-and-needles, tiredness, walking/balance issues
Image: Cell Research, 2015
Cortical Neurons are a Prominent Source of the Proinflammatory Cytokine Osteopontin in HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders
Silva K, Hope-Lucas C, White T, Hairston TK, Rameau T, Brown A.
Published: January 2015
Summary: 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 diffculties is unclear and the appropriate screening method and subsequent management is the subject of debate. In some patients, HIV-1 RNA can be found at higher concentrations in CSF than in blood, which potentially results from the poor distribution of antiretroviral drugs into the CNS. However, the clinical relevance of so-called CSF viral escape is not well understood. The extent to which antiretroviral drug distribution and toxicity in the CNS affect clinical decision making is also debated.
Read Full Text Article: Controversies in HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders
Broadcasted: 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.
Listen to the podcast: Clinical and ethical judgment: A profound dilemma
Upcoming JHU NIMH Center & Collaborator Events
- NeuroHIV Symposium: Friday, June 19, 2015 in the Weinberg Auditorium (more details forthcoming)
- 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
- NeuroAIDS Lecture Series: Every Friday, 11 a.m., Meyer 8 Library
- Collaborator Events:
JHU NIMH Center Directors, investigators, and staff
The Johns Hopkins Center for Novel Therapeutics of 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