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Abstract #4708

Effects of COMT Val 158 Met Polymorphism on Resting State Brain Connectivity in HIV Infection and Aging

Linda Chang 1 , Caroline S. Jiang 1 , Vanessa Douet 1 , Eric T Cunningham 1 , Nataliya Holmes 1 , Ahnate Lim 2 , Xin Zhang 1 , and Thomas Ernst 1

1 Department of Medicine (Neurology), University of Hawaii at Manoa, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, 2 Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Despite effective antiretroviral medications for HIV viral suppression in the plasma, milder forms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remain prevalent. Polymorphism of the Val 158 Met for the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase ( COMT ) gene may play an important role in the development of HAND. 83 participants (40 HIV+ subjects and 43 HIV-seronegative controls) were studied using resting state fMRI to evaluate age-dependent changes in functional connectivity (rs-fcMRI) in relation to the COMT genotypes. HIV subjects with Met/Met alleles had the steepest and greater than normal age-dependent decline in rs-fcMRI. COMT genotype combined with rsfcMRI may be useful for predicting which patient may develop HAND.

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