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Welcome to CNTN

The California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network

The California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network (CNTN) is a research resource based at the University of California, San Diego, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health (NIMH/NIH Award Number U24MH100928). CNTN acquires and makes available well-characterized tissues from individuals who have Central Nervous System involvement with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

CNTN is an organization of research scientists and clinicians dedicated to the study of neurological and psychological impairment in HIV infection. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, CNTN is one of four sites participating in the larger National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium. Together, these researchers use their shared knowledge and resources to develop uniform methods for studying HIV‑affected populations with neurological disorders.

Requests for Research Specimens

The National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) coordinates requests for HIV+ tissues, fluids, and data from NeuroAIDS researchers across the globe. To submit a request through the NNTC, please visit

For researchers interested in submitting a request to CNTN directly, click here to download our request form.

CNTN Staff Participate in San Diego Pride 2016

As in years past the staff of the California NeuroAIDS Tissue Network will host a booth at the San Diego Pride event on July 16 and 17, 2016.  Stop by and say hello!  Have some fun and spin the wheel for a prize (while supplies last).

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New Study - Brain Amyloid and HAND in the cART Era

Dr. Cris Achim received a 5-year NIH grant to study a key pathway in the process of macrophage clearance of beta amyloid from the brain.

Beta-amyloid, if it accumulates, can clump together in the brain and block cell-to-cell signaling; a process also implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. There is evidence that pathogenic mechanisms leading to HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy may be associated with accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain of aging long term survivors. Certain antiretroviral drugs have also been associated with damage to blood vessels in the brain; a process which may further limit the ability of brain macrophages to clear beta amyloid before it accumulates.

This new study will validate the diagnostic value of amyloid monitoring in clinical specimens in individuals with increased genetic risk for accumulation of beta amyloid and identify potential therapeutic targets implicated in amyloid clearance.

Welcome to the Newest CNTN Recruiter!

Robert Bryan has joined the study participant recruiting team at the CNTN. He brings with him extensive experience in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Counseling. Robert has been active in the community serving on multiple committees dealing with a diverse range of issues including The Faith-Based Action Coalition, Recovery Happens San Diego, Project Homeless Connect, and The Association of Community Housing Solutions.  His community service  has contributed to his success in matching participants to our research studies. Besides his professional work ethic and experience, his genuine caring demeanor has already touched the lives of the participants as well as his fellow colleagues.  

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David Moore Quoted in “Insights on the Pathogenesis of Neurocognitive Impairments in the Era of Combined ART”

An article by Dr. Carole Chrvala covers the known complication of neurocognitive disorders associated with HIV infection and the possible consequences for the individual patient. As stated in the article consequences of neurocognitive disorder include reduced adherence to medical therapy, impaired ability to perform complex daily tasks, decreased quality of life, lost work productivity, increased risk of dementia, and higher rates of virologic failure.

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CNTN Investigators Present at Reunion Project


CNTN researchers David J. Moore, Ph.D. and Ronald Ellis, M.D., Ph.D. recently spoke at a summit held in Palm Springs by The Reunion Project, a group composed of long-term survivors of HIV created to share their stories of loss and survival.  Drs. Moore and Ellis presented findings on the combined impact of HIV and aging.

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