TMARC Pilot Studies - Completed

Effects of METH Dependence & HIV Infection on Cerebrovascular Function (Gongvatana)

Agency: TMARC
PI: Gongvatana, Assawin, Ph.D.


There is increasing evidence that methamphetamine (METH) dependence is contributing to the development of a chronic systemic and cerebral vasculopathy. In addition, aging and HIV infection likely exacerbate this vasculopathy. The objectives of this Pilot project are: 1) To determine the effects of METH dependence on regional and global cerebrovascular function using novel imaging techniques; and 2) To determine the effects of cerebrovascular dysfunction on central nervous system (CNS) integrity. A prospective cross-sectional design including 24 participants already enrolled in TMARC will be used. Subjects will be stratified by METH dependence and HIV seropositivity (4 cohorts of 6 subjects) and matched for relevant variables. Cerebrovascular functional imaging will include magnetic resonance (MR)-derived techniques such as resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurement using arterial spin labeling (ASL) before and after acetazolamide challenge, and mean arteriovenous transit time. The techniques used will assess territorial blocks of brain to support the presence of a macrovasculopathy and microvasculopathy. CNS integrity evaluation will include standard T1 and T2 acquisition, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), resting cerebral perfusion, and resting connectivity. In collaboration with the Neuroimaging (NI) Core, MR spectroscopy and susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) will be used to explore alternative mechanisms for CNS integrity disruption. The potential findings of this Pilot study have public health implications and are intended to support planned studies regarding potential interventions including more aggressive cerebrovascular disease risk factor control in subjects with METH dependence as well as pharmacologic primary prevention.

Sponsored by NIH/NIDA P50DA026306

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