Sponsored by the UCLA Brain Mapping Center Faculty

The focus of these talks is on advancing the use of brain mapping methods in neuroscience with an emphasis on contemporary issues of neuroplasticity, neurodevelopment, and biomarker development in neuropsychiatric disease.

Hosted By: Katherine Narr, Ph.D., Neurology, UCLA

“Looking inside the adolescent brain and assessing the impact of perinatally acquired HIV”

Elizabeth R. Sowell, Ph.D.
Director of Developmental Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory Professor of Pediatrics; Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California Division of Research on Children, Youth and Families; Department of Pediatrics Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Current treatments have transformed HIV/AIDS from an inevitably fatal to a more manageable illness allowing many children born with HIV to survive into adulthood. Prior to the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV-related neurological complications were readily observable with imaging methods such as computerized tomography, given the severe encephalopathy that occurred in ~50% of children with HIV. While the HAART era has profoundly improved the prognosis for these children, existing studies suggest youth with perinatally acquired HIV (PA-HIV) on combination drug therapies still fall significantly behind their peers in many cognitive domains including executive functioning (EF) implicating continued neuropathology. Typical adolescent brain development can be characterized as a dynamic process of progressive and regressive changes which vary by sex, and are influenced by many factors both intrinsic (e.g., pubertal hormones, drug exposures) and environmental (e.g., experience dependent plasticity) factors. While the majority of children within developed countries who contracted HIV in utero are now surviving into adolescence and young adulthood (and beyond), virtually nothing is known about how brain development is altered as a function of PA-HIV and HAART exposure, and how these relationships with cognitive and executive functioning are altered through the course of adolescence in this population. In this talk, recent multimodal neuroimaging studies in a cohort of youth with PA-HIV will be discussed in the context of typical adolescent brain development. 

May 1, 2014 11:00am - 12:00pm PDT
Neuroscience Research Building (NRB 132)
For more information contact: Ludmila Budilo (310-825-2699,
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