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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of HIV Infection, methamphetamine dependence and age on cortical thickness, area and volume.

  • Author(s): MacDuffie, KE
  • Brown, GG
  • McKenna, BS
  • Liu, TT
  • Meloy, MJ
  • Tawa, B
  • Archibald, S
  • Fennema-Notestine, C
  • Atkinson, JH
  • Ellis, RJ
  • Letendre, SL
  • Hesselink, JR
  • Cherner, M
  • Grant, I
  • TMARC Group
  • et al.

OBJECTIVE:This study examined the effects of HIV infection, methamphetamine dependence and their interaction on cortical thickness, area and volume, as well as the potential interactive effects on cortical morphometry of HIV and methamphetamine with age. METHOD:T1-weighted structural images were obtained on a 3.0T General Electric MR750 scanner. Freesurfer v5.3.0 was used to derive cortical thickness, area and volume measures in thirty-four regions based on Desikan-Killiany atlas labels. RESULTS:Following correction for multiple statistical tests, HIV diagnosis was not significantly related to cortical thickness or area in any ROI, although smaller global cortical area and volume were seen in those with lower nadir CD4 count. HIV diagnosis, nevertheless, was associated with smaller mean cortical volumes in rostral middle frontal gyrus and in the inferior and superior parietal lobes. Methamphetamine dependence was significantly associated with thinner cortex especially in posterior cingulate gyrus, but was not associated with cortical area or volume following correction for multiple statistical tests. We found little evidence that methamphetamine dependence moderated differences in cortical area, volume or thickness for any ROI in the HIV seropositive group. Interactions with age revealed that HIV diagnosis attenuated the degree of age-related cortical thinning seen in non-infected individuals; intercepts indicated that young HIV seropositive individuals had thinner cortex than non-infected peers. CONCLUSIONS:Methamphetamine dependence does not appear to potentiate a reduction of cortical area, volume or thickness in HIV seropositive individuals. The finding of thinner cortex in young HIV seropositive individuals and the association between CD4 nadir and global cortical area and volume argue for prioritizing early antiretroviral treatment.

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