Neuroimaging markers of human immunodeficiency virus infection in South Africa

Jodi M. Heaps, John Joska, Jackie Hoare, Mario Ortega, Aleena Agrawa, Soraya Seedat, Beau M. Ances, Dan J. Stein, Robert Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Previous studies have reported cognitive deficits among HIV-positive individuals infected with clade C virus. However, no study has examined whether individuals predominately infected with clade C virus exhibit brain atrophy relative to healthy controls. This study examined volumetric differences between 28 HIV+ individuals and 23 HIV? controls from South Africa. Volumetric measures were obtained from six regions of interest - caudate, thalamus, corpus callosum, total cortex, total gray matter, and total white matter. HIV+ participants had significantly lower volumes in the total white matter (p<0.01), thalamus (p<0.01) and total gray matter (inclusive of cortical and subcortical regions, p<0.01). This study is the first to provide evidence of brain atrophy among HIV+ individuals in South Africa, where HIV clade C predominates. Additional research that integrates neuroimaging, comprehensive neuropsychological testing, genetic variance in clade-specific proteins, and the impact of treatment with Antiretrovirals (ARV) are necessary to understand the development of HIV-related neurocognitive disorders in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Clade C virus
  • HIVinfection
  • Neuroimaging
  • South Africa


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