Manhattan HIV Brain Bank

At the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank, our mission is to help all of those infected with HIV by supporting diverse translational research projects focused on AIDS pathogenesis. We also provide sophisticated analysis of nervous system function to our participants, which are free of charge, and which they can share with their primary care providers. We conduct diverse observational pilot studies to help target and focus research on emerging issues in HIV disease treatment and prevention. As highly active antiretroviral therapies continue to evolve and change the course of HIV infection and treatment, our program generates data that helps focus research priorities. 

Our pilot studies have covered a wide variety of topics, including racial and ethnic disparities in HIV manifestations, effects of co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV), HIV-associated cognitive impairment, peripheral neuropathy, HIV-associated myelopathy, determinants of antiretroviral adherence, and gender-related differences in AIDS mortality.

Our primary focus is the neurologic, neuropsychologic, psychiatric, and neuropathologic manifestations of HIV infection and HIV-associated co-morbidities. A federally funded program, we conduct a longitudinal, observational study of HIV-infected individuals who have agreed to be fluid and organ donors for the purpose of AIDS research. We are currently the largest multidisciplinary NeuroAIDS cohort in New York City and maintain one of the largest biorepositories in the nation dedicated to serving the HIV research community. Our study participants undergo regular neurologic, neuropsychologic, and psychiatric evaluations, and provide body fluid samples that are linked to clinical information. Upon their demise, our study participants become organ donors for biomedical research. We are one of four members of the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium.

We opened the Manhattan Hepatology Brain Bank in 2004 to focus on the increasing importance of liver disease to patients with HIV. We explore the complex interaction of liver disease, particularly HCV-related liver disease, with nervous system function. Patients in this program are HIV-negative, but have significant liver disorders. In 2007, we established a formal collaboration with the Women’s Interagency HIV Study, offering formal co-enrollment in both programs to participants in New York, regardless of HIV status.

Mission Statement

Established in 1998 by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, we are based at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City, and are a member of the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium. Our missions are to:

  • Advance our understanding of HIV and its effects on the brain and nervous system
  • Encourage collaboration between people living with HIV and scientists, with the primary purpose of helping those infected with HIV
  • Conduct an ongoing clinical study and act as a resource of detailed medical information linked to a biorepository of tissues and fluids for research use by the scientific community 
  • Enable people living with HIV to be engaged in the effort to improve our knowledge about HIV infection and the damage it causes to the body