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Epigenetic Aging, Cognitive Function and Visuospatial Processing in People With HIV



January 5, 2023

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  • Aging-US published this trending research paper in Volume 14, Issue 24, entitled, "Epigenetic aging is associated with aberrant neural oscillatory dynamics serving visuospatial processing in people with HIV" by researchers from Institute for Human Neuroscience, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Boys Town, NE; College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Omaha, NE; Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Creighton University, Omaha, NE; Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, Department of Neurological Sciences, UNMC, Omaha, NE; Department of In ternal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, UNMC, Omaha, NE; Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA. DOI - Corresponding author - Tony W. Wilson - Abstract Background: Despite effective antiretroviral therapy, cognitive impairment and other aging-related comorbidities are more prevalent in people with HIV (PWH) than in the general population. Previous research examining DNA methylation has shown PWH exhibit accelerated biological aging. However, it is unclear how accelerated biological aging may affect neural oscillatory activity in virally suppressed PWH, and more broadly how such aberrant neural activity may impact neuropsychological performance. Methods: In the present study, participants (n = 134) between the ages of 23 – 72 years underwent a neuropsychological assessment, a blood draw to determine biological age via DNA methylation, and a visuospatial processing task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). Our analyses focused on the relationship between biological age and oscillatory theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (10 - 16 Hz) activity among PWH (n=65) and seronegative controls (n = 69). Results: PWH had significantly elevated biological age when controlling for chronological age relative to controls. Biological age was differentially associated with theta oscillations in the left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and with alpha oscillations in the right medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) among PWH and seronegative controls. Stronger alpha oscillations in the mPFC were associated with lower CD4 nadir and lower current CD4 counts, suggesting such responses were compensatory. Participants who were on combination antiretroviral therapy for longer had weaker theta oscillations in the PCC. Conclusions: These findings support the concept of interactions between biological aging and HIV status on the neural oscillatory dynamics serving visuospatial processing. Future work should elucidate the long-term trajectory and impact of accelerated aging on neural oscillatory dynamics in PWH. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Keywords - HIV, epigenetics, biological age, visuospatial discrimination, oscillations About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - YouTube -​ LinkedIn - Pinterest - Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM

    Analytical TechniquesCell ScienceMolecular BiologyNeuroscience

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