PloS one 2016 4 2211(4) e0153493 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0153493
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) can occur in patients without prior AIDS defining illness and can be debilitating. This study aimed to evaluate the difference in the patterns of intrinsic brain activity between patients with or without HAND for deepening our understanding of HAND.
We evaluated 24 HIV-infected individuals, 12 with previously diagnosed HAND and 12 previously diagnosed without HAND, and 11 seronegative individuals. These individuals then underwent repeat NP testing and a functional brain MRI scan. For functional MRI analysis, seed-based analysis with bilateral precuneus cortex seed was applied.
Among the 12 individuals with previously diagnosed HAND, 3 showed improvement of their neurocognitive function and 1 was excluded for worsening liver disease. Among the 12 patients who previously had normal neurocognitive function, 2 showed neurocognitive impairment. Overall, the HAND group, who had impaired cognitive function at the time of MRI scan, showed significant decrease of resting status functional connectivity between bilateral precuneus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) compared with nonHAND group, those who had normal neurocognitive function (Corrected P<0.05). The functional connectivity with the right inferior frontal operculum and right superior frontal gyrus was positively correlated with memory and learning ability. CONCLUSIONS
This cross-sectional study found a significant difference in fMRI patterns between patients with and without HAND. Decreased functional connectivity between precuneus and PFC could be possible functional substrate for cognitive dysfunction in HIV patients, which should be characterized in a longitudinal study.