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HIV in HD Linked with Earlier Age of Symptom Onset

J Huntingtons Dis; 2018 Jun 1; Schultz, et al

The known neurobiological changes caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seem to hasten the age of symptom onset (ASO) in patients with Huntington disease (HD), according to a recent study. Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of the Enroll-HD database that included participants with a cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) repeat of at least 36. Participants with HD, and a comorbidity of HIV that was diagnosed prior to their reported ASO, were identified and compared to participants with HD who did not have HIV. An ANCOVA analysis was performed to investigate the differences in ASO between the HIV and non-HIV groups. Sex, drug use, and CAG repeat number were used as covariates. They found:

  • The average ASO of HD subjects with previous HIV infection (n=8) was 9.1 years earlier than non-HIV infected HD subjects (n= 3,259).
  • Despite low numbers of participants in the HIV group, the calculated effect size of this difference was 1.07.


Schultz JL, Nopoulos PC, Gonzalez-Alegre P. Human immunodeficiency virus infection in Huntington's disease is associated with an earlier age of symptom onset. J Huntingdons Dis. 2018;7(2):163-166. doi:10.3233/JHD-180287.