Photo of Dr. Igor Grant

Researchers from the CHARTER study found that nadir CD4 count is strongly associated with neurocognitive impairment (NCI) even after adjusting for confounding variables that can influence both nadir CD4 and NCI. This association is attenuated with combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) use, but remains present when examining only those on CART with an undetectable viral load. These findings suggest that low nadir CD4 could represent a “legacy event” in HIV infection that establishes slow or non-reversible brain damage. Prevention of severe immunosuppression may lead to more favorable neurocognitive outcomes.

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To Cite

Ellis R, Badiee J, Letendre S, Vaida F, Franklin D, Heaton R, Clifford D, Collier A, Marra C, Gelman B, McArthur J, Morgello S, Simpson D, McCutchan JA, Grant I, for the CHARTER Group. (2010). Nadir CD4 is a predictor of HIV neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy: results from the CHARTER Study. XVIII International AIDS Conference, July 18-23, Vienna, Austria.

Related Abstract

Heaton R, Franklin D, Ellis R, Letendre S, LeBlanc S, Woods S, Clifford D,Rivera Mindt M, Taylor M, Marcotte T, Atkinson JH, Collier A, Marra C, Gelman B, McArthur J, Morgello S,Simpson D, McCutchan JA, Grant I for the CHARTER and HNRC Groups. (2010). Increased prevalence of HIV neurocognitive impairment (NCI) among non-AIDS cases in the post-CART versus pre-CART era. XVIII International AIDS Conference, July 18-23, Vienna, Austria.


The HNRC Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship in NeuroAIDS (IRFN) provides training and mentoring to clinician-scientists interested in careers in neuroAIDs research. Training experiences emphasize the interdisciplinary and translational nature of clinical problems in neuroAIDS in order to prepare future scientists to tackle emerging questions in the field. The IRFN pairs trainees with mentors from clinical and basic science backgrounds according to their research interests.

IRFN Fellows are exposed to cutting-edge scientific environments and have contact with some of the most respected neuroAIDS researchers in the world. IRFN Fellows have access to resources at UCSD’s HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC) and the Del E. Webb Center for Neurosciences, Aging and Stem Cell Research Center at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (BIMR).

For information on the application process click here

Mentoring the next generation of neuroAIDS researchers is an important component of the HNRC’s overall mission. Within the last year, three trainees within the Neurobehavioral Core received prominent awards in recognition of their academic accomplishments in the neuropsychology of HIV infection. These awards highlight the exceptional level of performance garnered in part through the training and support received from HNRC-associated investigators.

In September 2009  the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC) moved into a 36,000 sq. ft. building dedicated to clinical HIV research on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center campus. The HNRC shares the clinical, research, and administrative spaces with the Antiviral Research Center (AVRC).

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