Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV) remains a near-inexorable cause of neurological and behavioral disease (NeuroAIDS) despite the prolonged survival of many HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals associated with use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The failure of current HAART regimens to eliminate HIV from the CNS has led to the development of a protected viral reservoir, new forms of HIV associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), and increasing numbers of age-related neurological disorders in older HIV+ persons. In order to address these evolving issues, investigators require well-characterized human CNS tissues and fluids from well-characterized cohorts. Thus, the human tissues, fluids, and data provided by the National Neurological AIDS Bank (NNAB) and National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC), remain essential for investigators to perform studies that will benefit HIV+ patients. To date, the NNAB has successfully recruited 719 participants of diverse racial, ethnic, linguistic, and educational backgrounds and both genders. We follow a living cohort of 184 participants, and we have performed 228 autopsies, of which 86% of descendants had pre-mortem study data. We have supplied 216 requests for tissues and data, and we have generated numerous independently funded research projects at UCLA that enhance our resources and further the science of NeuroAIDS. We actively collaborate with the other NNTC clinical sites and the NNTC Data Coordinating Committee (DCC) to maintain an up-to-date central database and specimen inventory and to fulfill requests for tissues, fluids, and data. Since the advent of the NNTC initiative, our participants have lived longer than was anticipated. This has engendered new problems and has forced us to be scientifically nimble and to rapidly adjust to the changing face of the HIV pandemic. The NNAB, adapting in turn, has successful research projects and collaborations that interact with the Bank and advance the very field of NeuroAIDS. We look forward to continuing our work with our colleagues at the other clinical sites, the DCC, and the NIH, on this important and for many, life- changing project.
To develop treatments for NeuroAIDS, researchers require a continuous, reliable source of well- characterized human specimens and data. The National Neurological AIDS Bank (NNAB) is in a unique position to meet the. needs of NeuroAIDS researchers. Over the past 5 years we have been among the top contributors of well-characterized human tissues, fluids and data to the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) and will continue this trend in the future.
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