HIV in the elderly human connectome

Neda Jahanshad

About one-third of HIV patients are over the age of 50 and with the availability of antiretroviral therapies, this proportion is sharply increasing. As the aged brain itself shows altered and deteriorating network organization, the additional effect of this prevalent virus is of interest. Testing differences between 55 patients and 30 controls (all aged 60-80), we map the altered connectivity with respect to the virus in a floating brain representation. Non-significant tested connections and nodes are in black. Blue connections represent those where the degree of connectivity between nodes is reduced in HIV patients as compared to age-matched controls. The connection strength (defined as the total fiber density for each region) is significantly lower in the presence of the virus (green spheres) Larger spheres indicate greater effect sizes (lower p-values). The axial slice, on which the brain floats, is segmented into the cortical regions of interest; red-yellow coloring represents the right and the blue-green coloring the left hemisphere. Data and resources provided by Victor Valcour and Paul Thompson. MATLAB was used to generate the figures.
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