www.psych.uic.edu

wmhrp subcat HIV

Our research with HIV+ women has been aimed at understanding how different female-specific risk factors contribute to their cognitive and mental health. Studying HIV+ women is particularly important given that these women may be at greater risk for cognitive deficits/declines due to issues of underserved communities including poverty, low literacy levels, low educational attainment, substance abuse, mental health issues. In our Neurology publication (Maki, Rubin, et al. 2014), we demonstrated that HIV-infected women show a prominent deficit in verbal learning and memory and attention compared to at-risk HIV-uninfected (HIV-) women. Across multiple studies we have identified certain factors that are differentially associated with verbal learning and memory in HIV-infected compared to HIV-uninfected women including crack/cocaine use, menopausal anxiety, insulin resistance, and perceived stress. We have also shown that post-traumatic stress was associated with worse scores on tests of verbal learning, memory, and psychomotor speed, and our structural and functional imaging studies suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in stress-related memory impairments in HIV+ women.

 

Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), Chicago Consortium
PI: Mardge Cohen, MD
Subcontract PI: Pauline Maki, PhD
The WIHS is a multi-site prospective epidemiology cohort study of women who either are infected with HIV or are at increased risk for acquiring HIV infection. The Chicago Consortium is a clinical research site. As a past head of the Neurocognitive Working Group (NCWG) of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), Dr. Pauline Maki directed the implementation of the largest longitudinal study of cognitive function in HIV-infected women and HIV-uninfected controls. Dr. Leah Rubin has worked to develop and apply sophisticated statistical approaches to elucidate the association between HIV status and cognition in women as well as identify risk factors for cognitive difficulties. These risk factors have including menopause, drug abuse, COMT, liver function, insulin resistance, C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2) on monocyte subsets, and age-related glucocorticoid resistance. The WIHS is primarily funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID - U01 AI034993).

Other WMHRP studies led by Dr. Maki within the WIHS cohort include:

  • Effects of Drug Use on White Matter Integrity in HIV+ women
    The goal of this study was to examine the effects of recent crack cocaine use on brain structure in HIV+ women (2009-2012)
  • Effects of Drug Use on Hippocampal Function in HIV+ women
    The goal of this study was to examine the effects of recent crack cocaine use on hippocampal function during performance of a verbal memory test in HIV+ women (2009-2012).
  • Genetic Predictors of Cognition and Mood in HIV+ Women
    This subcontract analyzed the influence of four common genetic polymorphisms - ESR1, COMT, CYP1A1, and BDNF – in relation to memory function and depressive symptoms in HIV positive women (2007-2009).
  • Cognition, Brain Function, and Affect in Midlife HIV+ Women: The Influence of Menopause
    This subcontract was for a pilot cross-sectional substudy to the Women’s Interagency HIV Study and aimed to better understand how age and menopause influence performance on cognitive tests, affect, and fMRI measures of brain function in midlife women with HIV (2004-2005).

 

Cognitive Neuropsychology of HIV and Drug Abuse - Potential Age Effects
PI: Eileen Martin, PhD (Rush University)
Co-I: Pauline Maki, PhD and Leah Rubin, PhD
This goal of this administrative supplement is to investigate effects of HIV serostatus on memory and executive function among a sample of older HIV+ and HIV- cocaine dependent women. This study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA - R01 DA012828-14S1).

 

Brain Aging in HIV-infected Women: The Role of Reproductive Aging and Cardiovascular Risk Factors
PI: Minjie Wu, PhD
Co-I: Pauline Maki, PhD
This Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research (CNIHR) grant aims to examine the effects of chronological aging, reproductive aging (i.e., menopause), and subclinical vascular risk factors on brain integrity in midlife HIV-infected women, compared to HIV-uninfected women. This study is jointly funded by the NIH, the NIH-supported Centers for Aids Research (CFAR) and the International AIDS Society (IAS).

 

Impact of Cocaine on Brain Neurochemistry, Functional Connectivity and Cognition in HIV
PI: Shaolin Yang, PhD
Co-I: Pauline Maki, PhD
The overall aim of this study is to investigate the impact of cocaine abuse on brain neurochemistry, functional connectivity, and cognition in HIV+ individuals. The general goal is to characterize the effects of cocaine abuse on brain neurochemistry, as well as functional connectivity in neural circuitry involved in reward/cognition in HIV+ individuals. This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA - R21 AG048176).

 

Effects of Drug Use on Prefrontal Cortex Function in HIV+ Women
PI: Vanessa Meyer, PhD
This training grant sought to investigate the effects of HIV and recent illicit drug use on cognitive function in women. The general aim of the study was to better understand the interactive effects of HIV and recent crack cocaine use on cognitive function. This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) from 2010-2012 (F31 DA028573).

 

Genetic Predictors of Cognition in HIV+ Women
PI: Erin Sundermann, PhD
This training grant sought to identify genetic predictors of cognitive performance and brain dysfunction in HIV. The general aim of the study was to characterize the effect of a common polymorphism of the catechol- O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene, Val158Met, on cognition and brain function in midlife women with HIV. This study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) from 2008-2011 (F31 MH083537).