HIV infection and the fronto-striatal system: a systematic review and meta-analysis of fMRI studies

Stéfan Du Plessis, Matthijs Vink, John A Joska, Eleni Koutsilieri, Dan J Stein, Robin Emsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Functional MRI studies investigating the impact of HIV on the brain have implicated the involvement of fronto-striatal circuitry. However, to date there is no review and meta-analysis of this work. We systematically reviewed the literature and performed a meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in HIV-infected individuals using a well validated tool recently developed for use in fMRI, 'GingerALE'. Twenty-one studies (468 HIV+, 270 HIV- controls) were qualitatively reviewed, of which six (105 HIV+, 102 controls) utilized fMRI paradigms engaging the fronto-striatal-parietal network, making a quantitative analysis possible. Our meta-analysis revealed consistent functional differences in the left inferior frontal gyrus and caudate nucleus between infected participants and controls across these studies. This fronto-striatal dysfunction was qualitatively related to cognitive impairment, disease progression and treatment effects. Although further work needs to be done to further delineate the potentially confounding influence of substance abuse and HIV-related comorbidities, as well as HIV's effect on functional haemodynamic vascular coupling, these findings indicate that further investigation of the fronto-striatal sub-networks in HIV-infected patients is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-11
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS Dementia Complex
  • Frontal Lobe
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Visual Cortex


Dive into the research topics of 'HIV infection and the fronto-striatal system: a systematic review and meta-analysis of fMRI studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this