Depression is the most common neuropsychiatric illness among people with HIV (PWH), affecting up to 78% of people in some cohorts of PWH. According to estimates, HIV and depressive disorders will be the two leading causes of disease burden globally by 2030.
Project leader Vilma Gabbay, M.D., Anjali Sharma, M.D., M.S., and Joan W. Berman Ph.D., have received a five-year, $3.85 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms that may connect the comorbidities. The researchers will test their hypothesis that systemic inflammation disrupts the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and allows peripheral blood mononuclear cells to cross the BBB, altering the brain’s reward circuity and contributing to depression in PWH. The collaborative project— involving experts in psychiatry, neuroimaging, HIV, and immunology—may lead to strategies for improving mental health as well as overall health in PWH.
Dr. Gabbay is director of PRIME Biomarkers and Dimensional Psychiatry Center. Dr. Sharma is professor medicine at Einstein. Dr. Berman is professor of pathology, and of microbiology & immunology, the Irving D. Karpas Chair in Medicine at Einstein. (1R01MH131207-01)
Posted on: Wednesday, November 16, 2022