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Clinical Studies

We advise patients to learn about available clinical studies as soon as possible after a diagnosis is made. This allows patients to consider the most options available while working with physicians to plan treatment.

Clinical Studies

Intranasal Insulin Therapy for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders

Contact: Rich Moxley; 443-799-7241

Purpose: The future treatment for HAND will likely need to include both antiretroviral therapy and adjunctive therapy to treat central nervous system (CNS) specific pathogenetic mechanisms. Insulin is involved in multiple CNS functions including food intake, metabolism, learning, and memory. Insulin has neuroprotective properties demonstrated in cell culture experiments and in vivo models, which provide strong evidence for its use as a therapeutic agent to treat HAND. The brain delivery of insulin administered via a novel nasal drug delivery device has been shown to have CNS protective, restorative, and cognitive enhancing effects in over 15 independent clinical studies. In addition to standard neuropsychological testing, the proposed clinical trial will use several novel brain imaging and CSF surrogate markers to monitor the effects of intranasal insulin therapy in HAND patients. We will conduct a 24 week double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase I/II trial of intranasal insulin for the treatment of HAND. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: 1) Intranasal insulin, or 2) placebo administered with a nasal drug delivery device. Outcomes from these studies could have important implications for the design and implementation of future insulin modifying therapies and other neuroprotective compounds for HAND.

Clinical Outcomes Cohort (COC)

Contact: Corey Demsky; 443-447-5312 (Call or Text)

Purpose: The purpose of the study is to better understand how HIV infection may affect the nervous system. Specifically we are looking at how HIV affects the brain, memory, thinking, and performance of daily activities. We seek to determine which tests and questionnaires are best suited for assessing functional impairment in patients with HIV. We also seek to determine if Alzheimer’s Disease or cardiovascular disease risks may contribute to functional impairment in people with HIV. Inclusion criteria: Between ages 20-69, HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative individuals, and able to consent.

Effects of glucocorticoids on cognition in HIV-infected women

Contact: Abigail Matthews; 443-287-0589

Purpose: This research is being done to better understand the effects of a hydrocortisone on memory and other mental abilities in women living with HIV. In this study, participants will receive low dose hydrocortisone, which is a drug that is similar to a stress hormone that is naturally produced in your body. Stress and stress hormones impact memory and other mental abilities in individuals without HIV. We hope to better understand how these factors impact memory and other mental abilities in women living with HIV because HIV itself affects memory and other mental abilities. Also, women living with HIV may have greater problems with memory and other mental abilities compared to men living with HIV.

This study may be a good fit for you if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are a woman age 18-65
  • Are living with HIV/AIDS

Neural mechanisms of HIV-associated CNS dysfunction despite viral suppression (IMPACT Study)

Contact: Robia-Janee Langlois; 443-287-0589

Purpose or aim: The purpose of this study is to help understand brain health in individuals with or without HIV. Antiretroviral medications are used to treat HIV infection and help people with HIV to live longer and healthier lives. However, people taking these medications can still have difficulties with mental abilities such as learning, memory, and concentration. The purpose of the study is to understand how HIV affects the brain and leads to these difficulties. We are looking for adults between the ages of 30 and 65 with and without HIV, English speaking and active participants in either the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) or the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).

Computerized assessment of memory, other mental abilities, and mental health (CAM Study)

Contact: Joelle Fuchs; 443-287-4806

Purpose or aim: This research study is being done to assess brain health. Participants will be using an electronic tablet to complete two different surveys to assess mental health and cognition. The study takes about 30-55 minutes to complete and participants are compensated for their time. We are looking for adults 18 years and older, those that speak English, and those that are able to use an electronic tablet. Participants must be a Bartlett Specialty Practice patient.

HIV-related Neuroplasticity and Attention-to-Reward as Predictors of Real World Function

Contact: Cherie Marvel; 410-502-4664

Purpose: The aim of this research is to identify factors that motivate a person to engage in risky behaviors that can lead to the acquisition or transmission of HIV. The relevance of this research to public health is that results have the potential to inform treatment strategies for reducing HIV transmission in at-risk populations.

Identifying the Neurocognitive Determinants of HIV Risk Behavior

Contact: Cherie Marvel; 410-502-4664

Rewarding stimuli command one's attention. The ability to ignore a learned reward is critical to behavioral control over impulsive, risky decisions. This line of research uses brain imaging to examine what parts of the brain are affected by attentional bias for learned reward in two populations that tend to engage in risky behaviors: HIV positive individuals, and those with opioid dependence.

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