Neuroimaging and immunological features of neurocognitive function related to substance use in people with HIV.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study sought to identify neuroimaging and immunological factors associated with substance use and that contribute to neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in people with HIV (PWH). We performed cross-sectional immunological phenotyping, neuroimaging, and neurocognitive testing on virally suppressed PWH in four substance groups: cocaine only users (COC), marijuana only users (MJ), dual users (Dual), and Non-users. Participants completed substance use assessments, multimodal MRI brain scan, neuropsychological testing, and blood and CSF sampling. We employed a two-stage analysis of 305 possible biomarkers of cognitive function associated with substance use. Feature reduction (Kruskal Wallis p-value < 0.05) identified 53 biomarkers associated with substance use (22 MRI and 31 immunological) for model inclusion along with clinical and demographic variables. We employed eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) with these markers to predict cognitive function (global T-score). SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) values were calculated to rank features for impact on model output and NCI. Participants were 110 PWH with sustained HIV viral suppression (33 MJ, 12 COC, 22 Dual, and 43 Non-users). The ten highest ranking biomarkers for predicting global T-score were 4 neuroimaging biomarkers including functional connectivity, gray matter volume, and white matter integrity; 5 soluble biomarkers (plasma glycine, alanine, lyso-phosphatidylcholine (lysoPC) aC17.0, hydroxy-sphingomyelin (SM.OH) C14.1, and phosphatidylcholinediacyl (PC aa) C28.1); and 1 clinical variable (nadir CD4 count). The results of our machine learning model suggest that substance use may indirectly contribute to NCI in PWH through both metabolomic and neuropathological mechanisms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Murdoch, DM; Barfield, R; Chan, C; Towe, SL; Bell, RP; Volkheimer, A; Choe, J; Hall, SA; Berger, M; Xie, J; Meade, CS

Published Date

  • February 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 78 - 93

PubMed ID

  • 36348233

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC10089970

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-2443

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s13365-022-01102-2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States