Executive Function and Frontostriatal Deficits in HIV and Methamphetamine - IAS/NIDA Joint Fellowship Programme (Ipser)

Written by Ipser, Jonathan, Ph.D.

PI: Jonathan Ipser, Ph.D.
Agency Award Number: N/A


There is considerable overlap between cognitive deficits and associated structural and functional brain pathology in HIV and methamphetamine abuse. Brain imaging studies have consistently detected functional and structural abnormalities in pathways between the frontal cortex (subserving executive function) and the striatum (involved in reward-processing) in both patients with HIV and methamphetamine abusers. The proposed research will employ a controlled design to compare the integrity of these pathways in patients with HIV, methamphetamine abusers, patients with dual diagnoses and normal controls. Novel measures of white-matter integrity derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) measures of blood oxygenation during executive functioning will be employed. Specifically, an event sequencing as well as a Go/NoGo task will be included in the functional component of this study, as these executive tasks have reliably activated frontostriatal pathways in the past. This study will help to definitively answer whether the patterns of pathology in frontostriatal circuitry in similar in HIV and methamphetamine abuse, and whether these abnormalities combine in an additive fashion in patients with dual diagnosis.

Sponsored by NIH/NIDA P50DA026306

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