, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 113–121 | Cite as

Factors affecting brain structure in men with HIV disease in the post-HAART era

  • James T. Becker
  • Victoria Maruca
  • Lawrence A. Kingsley
  • Joanne M. Sanders
  • Jeffery R. Alger
  • Peter B. Barker
  • Karl Goodkin
  • Eileen Martin
  • Eric N. Miller
  • Ann Ragin
  • Ned Sacktor
  • Ola Selnes
  • for the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study
Diagnostic Neuroradiology



The purpose of this study was to characterize brain volumetric differences in HIV seropositive and seronegative men and to determine effects of age, cardiovascular risk, and HIV infection on structural integrity.


Magnetic resonance imaging was used to acquire high-resolution neuroanatomic data in 160 men aged 50 years and over, including 84 HIV seropositive and 76 seronegative controls. Voxel-based morphometry was used to derive volumetric measurements at the level of the individual voxel. Data from a detailed neuropsychological test battery were recombined into four summary scores representing psychomotor speed, visual memory, verbal memory, and verbal fluency.


Both age and HIV status had a significant effect on both gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume. The age-related GM atrophy was primarily in the superior temporal and inferior frontal regions; the HIV-related GM loss included the posterior and inferior temporal lobes, the parietal lobes, and the cerebellum. Among all subjects, the performance on neuropsychological tests, as indexed by a summary variable, was related to the volume of both the GM and WM. Contrary to our predictions, the CVD variables were not linked to brain volume in statistically adjusted models.


In the post-HAART era, having HIV infection is still linked to atrophy in both GM and WM. Secondly, advancing age, even in this relatively young cohort, is also linked to changes in GM and WM volume. Thirdly, CNS structural integrity is associated with overall cognitive functions, regardless of the HIV infection status of the study volunteers.


MRI Cognition HIV Age Voxel-based morphometry 



The authors are grateful to the volunteers and the staff of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study for the additional time and effort that they contributed towards the successful completion of this project. This study was supported in part by funds from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases to the collaborating MACS sites: UO1-AI-35042, 5-MO1-RR-00052 (GCRC), UO1-AI-35043, UO1-AI-37984, UO1-AI-35039, UO1-AI-35040, UO1-AI-37613, and UO1-AI-35041.

Conflict of interest

Dr. Miller is the author of the CalCAP reaction time program and has a financial interest in this software.

The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS)

includes the following: Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health: Joseph B. Margolick (Principal Investigator), Haroutune Armenian, Barbara Crain, Adrian Dobs, Homayoon Farzadegan, Joel Gallant, John Hylton, Lisette Johnson, Shenghan Lai, Ned Sacktor, Ola Selnes, James Shepard, Chloe Thio. Chicago: Howard Brown Health Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, and Cook County Bureau of Health Services: John P. Phair (Principal Investigator), Joan S. Chmiel (Co-Principal Investigator), Sheila Badri, Bruce Cohen, Craig Conover, Maurice O'Gorman, David Ostrow, Frank Palella, Daina Variakojis, Steven M. Wolinsky. Los Angeles: University of California, UCLA Schools of Public Health and Medicine: Roger Detels (Principal Investigator), Barbara R. Visscher (Co-Principal Investigator), Aaron Aaronow, Robert Bolan, Elizabeth Breen, Anthony Butch, Thomas Coates, Rita Effros, John Fahey, Beth Jamieson, Otoniel Martínez-Maza, Eric N. Miller, John Oishi, Paul Satz (deceased), Harry Vinters, Dorothy Wiley, Mallory Witt, Otto Yang, Stephen Young, Zuo Feng Zhang. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health: Charles R. Rinaldo (Principal Investigator), Lawrence A. Kingsley (Co-Principal Investigator), James T. Becker, Ross D. Cranston, Jeremy J. Martinson, John W. Mellors, Anthony J. Silvestre, Ronald D. Stall. Data Coordinating Center: The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health: Lisa P. Jacobson (Principal Investigator), Alvaro Munoz (Co-Principal Investigator), Stephen R. Cole, Christopher Cox, Gypsyanber D’Souza, Stephen J. Gange, Janet Schollenberger, Eric C. Seaberg, Sol Su. NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: Robin E. Huebner; National Cancer Institute: Geraldina Dominguez; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Cheryl McDonald; National Institute of Mental Health: Pim Brouwers.

Supplementary material

234_2011_854_MOESM1_ESM.tif (347 kb)
High resolution image file (TIFF 346 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • James T. Becker
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 14
  • Victoria Maruca
    • 4
  • Lawrence A. Kingsley
    • 5
  • Joanne M. Sanders
    • 6
  • Jeffery R. Alger
    • 7
  • Peter B. Barker
    • 8
  • Karl Goodkin
    • 9
  • Eileen Martin
    • 10
  • Eric N. Miller
    • 11
  • Ann Ragin
    • 12
  • Ned Sacktor
    • 13
  • Ola Selnes
    • 13
  • for the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Spalding UniversityLouisvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public HealthThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  7. 7.Department of NeurologyUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  8. 8.Department of RadiologyThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  9. 9.Neuropsychiatric InstituteUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  10. 10.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  11. 11.Neuropsychiatric InstituteUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  12. 12.Department of NeurologyFeinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  13. 13.Department of NeurologyThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  14. 14.Neuropsychology Research ProgramPittsburghUSA

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