Effect of HAART on Brain Organization and Function in HIV-Negative Subjects.
HIV causes neural dysfunction in infected individuals. This dysfunction often manifests as cognitive symptoms and can be detected using neuroimaging. Highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), in addition to providing virologic control, has reduced the number of profoundly impaired individuals but more mild forms of neurocognitive disorders remains prevalent. A potential confound in previous studies of HIV-associated cognitive dysfunction is that HAART may be neurotoxic. Thus, observed effects, attributed to HIV, may be in part due to HAART. It is unclear whether and to what extent current medications contribute to observed brain dysfunction. We studied changes in functional connectivity and cerebral blood flow in HIV uninfected (HIV-) individuals before and after being given two common antiretroviral medications: efavirenz and ritonavir. Neither drug was associated with significant changes in functional connectivity or cerebral blood flow. Our results suggests that previous changes in functional connectivity and cerebral blood flow in HIV infected individuals receiving HAART may largely due to the virus and remaining reservoirs and less due to toxic action of these anti-retroviral medications.
Brier, MR; Wu, Q; Tanenbaum, AB; Westerhaus, ET; Kharasch, ED; Ances, BM
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