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J Infect Dis. 2010 Feb 1;201(3):336-40. doi: 10.1086/649899.

HIV infection and aging independently affect brain function as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA.


We investigated the interactions between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and aging and their effects on brain function demands by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A multiple-regression model was used to study the association and interaction between fMRI measures, HIV serostatus, and age for 26 HIV-infected subjects and 25 seronegative subjects. Although HIV serostatus and age independently affected fMRI measures, no interaction occurred. Functional brain demands in HIV-positive subjects were equivalent to those of HIV-negative subjects who were 15-20 years older. Frailty parallels between HIV infection and aging could result from continued immunological challenges depleting resources and triggering increased metabolic demands. In the future, fMRI could be a noninvasive biomarker to assess HIV infection in the brain.

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