NeuroHIV

HEALTH INFORMATION

Investigating links between HIV and dementia

WHAT WE KNOW

There is a growing concern that long-term HIV infection and aging may increase the risk of developing degenerative brain diseases similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

We are conducting a study to better understand whether long-term HIV infection increases the risk of developing difficulties with memory and concentration in HIV+ individuals aged 45 years or older.

Because of the success of antiretroviral therapy, many HIV+ individuals are now reaching their 50s and 60s. There has been some suggestion that long-term HIV infection may be associated with developing degenerative brain diseases such as dementia.

In conjunction with St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of New South Wales, NeuRA’s Dr Lucette Cyscique and Prof Lindy Rae are conducting a study to estimate the prevalence of memory and concentration difficulties in older individuals with long-term HIV infection.

We are also determining the means by which  (if any) long-term HIV infection contributes to the incidence of an illness like Alzheimer’s disease.

OUR LATEST RESEARCH

Global Health Impact of Brain Ageing among HIV- Infected persons

The project will involve a meta-analysis of the HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder and the effect of ageing. It will be followed by the development and testing of an international database that will compile age-range prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive across multiple research projects.

Strategic timing of antiretroviral treatment neurology sub-study

The aim of the Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START) Neurology trial, is to investigate whether immediate initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) is superior to deferral of ART until the CD4+ declines below 350 cells/mm3 on neuropsychological functions.

Brain health now for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

This study is focused on how to determine the prevalence and incidence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in Canada and to assess cognitive rehabilitation/training strategies.

Binge drinking and the adolescent brain

This study is examining effects of binge alcohol consumption in 16-17 year olds using questionnaires, magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive testing. It aims to determine whether binge consumption of alcohol is impacting adolescent brain and cognitive development.

Cross-disciplinary assessment of chronic HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder

This study focuses on HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder mechanisms in chronic and virally suppressed HIV infection as well as in patients who are aging and are at higer risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Cross-culturally valid assessment of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders

This project aims to develop a screening and standard neuropsychological battery that is cross-culturally valid for assessment of neurocognitive functions in HIV infection, in culturally and linguistically diverse Australians

CNS reservoirs in NeuroHIV

This project is dedicated to the identification and quantification of HIV reservoirs biomarkers in the Central Nervous System.

What else is happening in NeuroHIV research at NeuRA?

FEEL THE BUZZ IN THE AIR? US TOO.

During three decades on Australian television, two simple words brought us to attention.

‘Hello daaaahling’. Outrageous, flamboyant, iconic – Jeanne Little captivated Australians everywhere with her unique style, cockatoo shrill voice and fashion sense. "Mum wasn't just the life of the party, she was the party.” Katie Little, Jeanne’s daughter remembers. This icon of Australian television brought a smile into Australian homes. Tragically, today Jeanne can't walk, talk or feed herself. She doesn't recognise anyone, with a random sound or laugh the only glimpse of who she truly is. Jeanne Little has Alzheimer's disease. The 1,000 Brains Study NeuRA is very excited to announce the 1,000 Brains Study, a ground-breaking research project to identify the elements in our brains that cause life-changing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other dementias. This study will focus on the key unresolved question: why do some of us develop devastating neurodegenerative diseases, while others retain good brain health? The study will compare the genomes of people who have reached old age with healthy brains against the genomes of those who have died from neurodegenerative diseases, with post mortem examination of brain tissue taking place at NeuRA’s Sydney Brain Bank. More information on the study can be found here. Will you please support dementia research and the 1,000 Brains Study and help drive the future of genetics research in Australia? https://youtu.be/q7fTZIisgAY
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