Mentored Scientist Award

Assessing CSF HIV antibodies and CNS HIV viral reservoirs in HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND)

Headshot of Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS
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Award amount - Direct


Levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) HIV antibodies are theorized as a broad marker of central nervous system (CNS) HIV reservoir size. In the proposed work, I will determine CSF HIV antibody levels and their antigenic targets in virally suppressed HIV+ elders with (n=30) and without (n=15) HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). To further understand the relationship of CNS HIV reservoirs in HAND, the aims will also examine the associations between having detectable CSF HIV RNA and these CSF HIV antibodies/antigenic targets, as well as associations between these levels of CSF HIV antibodies/antigenic targets and CSF immune activation markers in these participant populations. The final aim explores relationships with adverse neuroimaging outcomes found in HIV+ elders. Through the added evaluation of CSF HIV antibodies/antigenic targets, additional information may be gleaned about a potential biomarker of HAND and the type of CNS cells forming the CNS reservoir.