The neurocognitive effects of a past cannabis use disorder in a diverse sample of people living with HIV

 Publication Cover“People living with HIV (PLWH) report higher rates of cannabis use than the general population, a trend likely to continue in light of recent policy changes and the reported therapeutic benefits of cannabis for PLWH. Therefore, it is important to better understand cannabis-associated effects on neurocognition, especially as PLWH are at heightened risk for neurocognitive impairment.

This study aimed to elucidate the effects of a past cannabis use disorder on current neurocognition in a diverse sample of PLWH.

Compared to the past CUD- group, the past CUD+ group performed significantly better on tests of processing speed, visual learning and memory, and motor ability.

Findings suggest PLWH with past cannabis use have similar or better neurocognition across domains compared to PLWH without past use.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32951441/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09540121.2020.1822504?journalCode=caic20

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Cannabis use is associated with greater total sleep time in middle-aged and older adults with and without HIV: A preliminary report utilizing digital health technologies

“Current literature on the effect of cannabis use on sleep quality is mixed, and few studies have used objectively-measured sleep measures or real-time sampling of cannabis use to examine this relationship.

The prevalence of cannabis use among older adults and persons living with HIV has increased in recent years, and poor sleep quality is elevated in these populations as well. However, research examining cannabis-sleep relationships in these populations is lacking. Thus, we aimed to examine the relationship between daily cannabis use and subsequent objectively-measured sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults with and without HIV.

In this pilot study, seventeen (11 HIV+, 6 HIV-) adults aged 50-70 who consumed cannabis completed four daily smartphone-based surveys for 14 days, in which they reported their cannabis use (yes/no) since the last survey. Participants also wore actigraphy watches during the 14-day period to objectively assess sleep quality (i.e., efficiency, total sleep time, and sleep fragmentation).

In linear mixed-effects models, cannabis use was significantly associated with greater subsequent total sleep time (β=0.56; p=0.046). Cannabis use was not related to a change in sleep efficiency (β=1.50; p=0.46) nor sleep fragmentation (β=0.846, p=0.756) on days with cannabis use versus days without cannabis use.

These preliminary results indicate cannabis use may have a positive effect on sleep duration in middle-aged and older adults. However, future studies with larger sample sizes that assess cannabis use in more detail (e.g., route of administration, dose, reason for use) are needed to further understand this relationship.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32905460/

https://publications.sciences.ucf.edu/cannabis/index.php/Cannabis/article/view/59

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Synergistic effects of HIV and marijuana use on functional brain network organization

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry “HIV is associated with disruptions in cognition and brain function.

These results suggest that marijuana use in HIV may normalize disruptions in brain network organization observed in persons with HIV.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32687963/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278584620303560?via%3Dihub

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Long Term Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol Administration Inhibits Proinflammatory Responses in Minor Salivary Glands of Chronically Simian Immunodeficieny Virus Infected Rhesus Macaques

 viruses-logo“HIV/SIV-associated oral mucosal disease/dysfunction (HAOMD) (gingivitis/periodontitis/salivary adenitis) represents a major comorbidity affecting HIV patients on anti-retroviral therapy.

Using a systems biology approach, we investigated molecular changes (mRNA/microRNA) underlying HAOMD and its modulation by phytocannabinoids (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC)) in uninfected (n = 5) and SIV-infected rhesus macaques untreated (VEH-untreated/SIV; n = 7) or treated with vehicle (VEH/SIV; n = 3) or ∆9-THC (THC/SIV; n = 3).

Relative to controls, fewer mRNAs were upregulated in THC/SIV compared to VEH-untreated/SIV macaques. Gene enrichment analysis showed differential enrichment of biological functions involved in anti-viral defense, Type-I interferon, Toll-like receptor, RIG-1 and IL1R signaling in VEH-untreated/SIV macaques. We focused on the anti-ER-stress anterior gradient-2 (AGR2), epithelial barrier protecting and anti-dysbiotic WAP Four-Disulfide Core Domain-2 (WFDC2) and glucocorticoid-induced anti-inflammatory TSC22D3 (TSC22-domain family member-3) that were significantly downregulated in oropharyngeal mucosa (OPM) of VEH-untreated/SIV macaques.

All three proteins localized to minor salivary gland acini and secretory ducts and showed enhanced and reduced expression in OPM of THC/SIV and VEH/SIV macaques, respectively. Additionally, inflammation associated miR-21, miR-142-3p and miR-29b showed significantly higher expression in OPM of VEH-untreated/SIV macaques. TSC22D3 was validated as a target of miR-29b.

These preliminary translational findings suggest that phytocannabinoids may safely and effectively reduce oral inflammatory responses in HIV/SIV and other (autoimmune) diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32630206/

https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/12/7/713

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Recent Cannabis Use in HIV Is Associated With Reduced Inflammatory Markers in CSF and Blood

 Home“Objective: To determine whether cannabis may reduce HIV-related persistent inflammation, we evaluated the relationship of cannabis use in people with HIV (PWH) to inflammatory cytokines in CSF and blood plasma.

Conclusions: Recent cannabis use was associated with lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers, both in CSF and blood, but in different patterns. These results are consistent with compartmentalization of immune effects of cannabis. The principal active components of cannabis are highly lipid soluble and sequestered in brain tissue; thus, our findings are consistent with specific anti-neuroinflammatory effects that may benefit HIV neurologic dysfunction.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32554630/

https://nn.neurology.org/content/7/5/e809

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Targeting Cannabinoid Receptor 2 on Peripheral Leukocytes to Attenuate Inflammatory Mechanisms Implicated in HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder.

 SpringerLink“HIV infection affects an estimated 38 million people. Approximately 50% of HIV patients exhibit neurocognitive dysfunction termed HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND). HAND is a consequence of chronic low-level neuroinflammation due to HIV entry into the brain. Initially, monocytes become activated in circulation and traffic to the brain. Monocytes, when activated, become susceptible to infection by HIV and can then carry the virus across the blood brain barrier. Once in the brain, activated monocytes secrete chemokines, which recruit virus-specific CD8+ T cells into the brain to further promote neuroinflammation. HAND is closely linked to systemic inflammation driven, in part, by HIV but is also due to persistent translocation of microorganisms across the GI tract. Persistent anti-viral responses in the GI tract compromise microbial barrier integrity. Indeed, HIV patients can exhibit remarkably high levels of activated (CD16+) monocytes in circulation.

Recent studies, including our own, show that HIV patients using medical marijuana exhibit lower levels of circulating CD16+ monocytes than non-cannabis using HIV patients. Cannabis is a known immune modulator, including anti-inflammatory properties, mediated, in part, by ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as less characterized minor cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes and presumably other cannabis constituents. The immune modulating activity of THC is largely mediated through cannabinoid receptors (CB) 1 and 2, with CB1 also responsible for the psychotropic properties of cannabis.

Here we discuss the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids in the context of HIV and propose CB2 as a putative therapeutic target for the treatment of neuroinflammation. Graphical Abstract HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder is a systemic inflammatory disease leading to activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells, monocytes and T cells. Monocyte and CD8 T cell migration across the BBB and interaction with astrocytes promotes neurotoxic inflammatory mediators release. CB2 ligands are proposed as therapeutics capable of suppressing systemic and localized inflammation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32409991

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11481-020-09918-7

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Beneficial Effects of Cannabis on Blood Brain Barrier Function in HIV.

“HIV infection leads to blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction that does not resolve despite viral suppression on antiretroviral therapy and is associated with adverse clinical outcomes.

In preclinical models, cannabis restores BBB integrity.

Cannabis may have a beneficial impact on HIV-associated BBB injury.

Since BBB disruption may permit increased entry of toxins such as microbial antigens and inflammatory mediators, with consequent CNS injury, these results support a potential therapeutic role of cannabis among PWH and may have important treatment implications for ART effectiveness and toxicity.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32296832

https://academic.oup.com/cid/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa437/5820626?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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β-Caryophyllene, a CB2-Receptor-Selective Phytocannabinoid, Suppresses Mechanical Allodynia in a Mouse Model of Antiretroviral-Induced Neuropathic Pain.

molecules-logo “Neuropathic pain associated with nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), therapeutic agents for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), responds poorly to available drugs.

Smoked cannabis was reported to relieve HIV-associated neuropathic pain in clinical trials. Some constituents of cannabis (Cannabis sativa) activate cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors. However, activation of the CB1 receptor is associated with side effects such as psychosis and physical dependence.

Therefore, we investigated the effect of β-caryophyllene (BCP), a CB2-selective phytocannabinoid, in a model of NRTI-induced neuropathic pain.

BCP prevents NRTI-induced mechanical allodynia, possibly via reducing the inflammatory response, and attenuates mechanical allodynia through CB2 receptor activation. Therefore, BCP could be useful for prevention and treatment of antiretroviral-induced neuropathic pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31892132

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/1/106

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

“Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574142

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Cannabis Exposure is Associated With a Lower Likelihood of Neurocognitive Impairment in People Living With HIV.

Image result for ovid journal “Aging and HIV have adverse effects on the central nervous system, including increased inflammation and neural injury and confer risk of neurocognitive impairment (NCI).

Previous research suggests the nonacute neurocognitive effects of cannabis in the general population are adverse or null. However, in the context of aging and HIV, cannabis use may exert beneficial effects due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

In the current study, we examined the independent and interactive effects of HIV and cannabis on NCI and the potential moderation of these effects by age.

METHODS:

Participants included 679 people living with HIV (PLHIV) and 273 people living without HIV (HIV-) (18-79 years old) who completed neurocognitive, neuromedical, and substance use assessments. NCI was defined as a demographically corrected global deficit score ≥ 0.5. Logistic regression models examined the effects of age, HIV, cannabis (history of cannabis substance use disorder and cannabis use in past year), and their 2-way and 3-way interactions on NCI.

RESULTS:

In logistic regression models, only a significant interaction of HIV X cannabis was detected (P = 0.02). Among PLHIV, cannabis was associated with a lower proportion of NCI (odds ratio = 0.53, 95% confidence interval = 0.33-0.85) but not among HIV- individuals (P = 0.40). These effects did not vary by age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest cannabis exposure is linked to a lower odds of NCI in the context of HIV. A possible mechanism of this result is the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis, which may be particularly important for PLHIV. Further investigations are needed to refine the effects of dose, timing, and cannabis compound on this relationship, which could inform guidelines for cannabis use among populations vulnerable to cognitive decline.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31809361

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00126334-202001010-00008

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Druggable Targets of the Endocannabinoid System: Implications for the Treatment of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder.

Brain Research“HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) affects nearly half of all HIV-infected individuals. Synaptodendritic damage correlates with neurocognitive decline in HAND, and many studies have demonstrated that HIV-induced neuronal injury results from excitotoxic and inflammatory mechanisms.

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system provides on-demand protection against excitotoxicity and neuroinflammation.

Here, we discuss evidence of the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of the eCB system from in vitro and in vivo studies. We examine the pharmacology of the eCB system and evaluate the therapeutic potential of drugs that modulate eCB signaling to treat HAND.

Finally, we provide perspective on the need for additional studies to clarify the role of the eCB system in HIV neurotoxicity and speculate that strategies that enhance eCB signaling might slow cognitive decline in HAND.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31539547

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006899319305219?via%3Dihub

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