Relationship between Brain Arterial Pathology and Neurocognitive Performance among Individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Jose Gutierrez, Desiree Byrd, Michael T. Yin, Susan Morgello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background. Human immunodeficiency virus-positive (HIV+) individuals have higher rates of cognitive impairment and cerebrovascular disease compared with uninfected populations. We hypothesize that cerebrovascular disease, specifically brain large artery disease, may play a role in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Methods. Participants (N = 94) in the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank study were followed on average 32 ± 33 months with repeated neuropsychological examinations until death. We used five cognitive domains (motor, processing speed, working memory, verbal fluency, and executive functioning) to assess ante mortem performance. We quantified the diameter of the lumen and arterial wall thickness obtained during autopsy. The diagnoses of HAND were attributed using the American Academy of Neurology nosology. We used generalized linear mixed model to account for repeated measures, follow-up time, and codependence between arteries. Models were adjusted for demographics, viral loads, CD4 counts, history of opportunistic infections, and vascular risks. Results. We included 94 HIV+ individuals (mean age 56 ± 8.3, 68% men, 54% African American). In adjusted models, there was an association between arterial wall thickness and global cognitive score (B = ?0.176, P value = .03), processing speed (B = ?0.175, P = .05), and verbal fluency (B = ?0.253, P = .02). Participants with incident or worsening HAND had thicker brain arterial walls (B = 0.523 ± 0.234, P = .03) and smaller arterial lumen (B = ?0.633 ± 0.252, P = .01). Conclusions. We report here a novel association between brain arterial wall thickening and poorer ante mortem cognitive performance and diagnosis of.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-497
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 18 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain Arterial Remodeling
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Dementia
  • HIV
  • HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders


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