Mapping cerebellar degeneration in HIV/AIDS

Andrea D. Klunder, Ming Chang Chiang, Rebecca A. Dutton, Sharon E. Lee, Arthur W. Toga, Oscar L. Lopez, Howard J. Aizenstein, James T. Becker, Paul M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Progressive brain atrophy in HIV/AIDS is associated with impaired psychomotor performance, perhaps partly reflecting cerebellar degeneration; yet little is known about how HIV/AIDS affects the cerebellum. We visualized the three-dimensional profile of atrophy in 19 HIV-positive patients (age: 42.9±8.3 years) versus 15 healthy controls (age: 38.5± 12.0 years). We localized consistent patterns of subregional atrophy with an image analysis method that automatically deforms each patient's scan, in three dimensions, to match a reference image. Atrophy was greatest in the posterior cerebellar vermis (14.9% deficit) and correlated with depression severity (P=0.009, corrected), but not with dementia, alcohol/substance abuse, CD4 + T-cell counts, or viral load. Profound cerebellar deficits in HIV/AIDS (P=0.007, corrected) were associated with depression, suggesting a surrogate disease marker for antiretroviral trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1659
Number of pages5
Issue number17
StatePublished - 19 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Cerebellum
  • Computational anatomy
  • Depression
  • HIV
  • MRI
  • Morphometry
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Virus


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