Blood Biomarkers of Neuronal/Axonal and Glial Injury in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders

Natalia P. Rocha, Antonio L. Teixeira, Gabriela D. Colpo, Michelle A. Babicz, Jennifer L. Thompson, Steven Paul Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Approximately half of the people living with HIV (PLWH) experience HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HANDs). However, the neuropathogenesis of HAND is complex, and identifying reliable biomarkers has been challenging. Methods: This study included 132 participants aged 50 and older from greater San Diego County. The participants were divided into three groups: PLWH with HAND (n = 29), PLWH without HAND (n = 73), and seronegatives without cognitive impairment (n = 30). Peripheral blood was collected at the clinical assessment, and plasma levels of neurofilament light chain (NfL), phosphorylated Tau 181 (pTau181), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Plasma levels of NfL (but not pTau181 and GFAP) were significantly associated with HAND at a medium effect size (p = 0.039, Cohen's d = 0.45 for HAND + vs. HAND-). Notably, higher levels of NfL were significantly associated with HAND diagnosis even after adjusting for sex. Discussion: Our data suggest that neuronal degeneration (as evidenced by increased levels of NfL), but not tau pathology or glial degeneration, is related to cognitive status in PLWH. Our results corroborate the view that blood NfL is a promising biomarker of cognitive impairment in PLWH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-474
Number of pages8
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Volume51
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder
  • Infectious disease
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Neurofilament light chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Blood Biomarkers of Neuronal/Axonal and Glial Injury in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this