The Campbell Foundation Funds Research
to Study Vascular Disease in Patients with HIV
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Susan R. Miller
October 21, 2015 – FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The Campbell Foundation has awarded a $60,000 grant to Dr. Jose Gutierrez, assistant professor of neurology in the Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Dr. Gutierrez will use the grant to determine the relationship between HIV infection and cerebral arterial inflammation.
While it has become clear in recent years that HIV increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, the reasons why remain uncertain. With better drug therapies and an emphasis on improved care, many of those diagnosed with HIV are living significantly longer and are dying of non-AIDS-related conditions. While that is good news, vascular disease, such as stroke and heart attack, have emerged as a leading cause of mortality and disability in those with HIV.
Some research suggests that antiretroviral (ARV) therapies increase blood cholesterol and subsequently increase the risk of cholesterol plaques in arteries supplying blood to the heart, brain and other organs. These plaques can eventually rupture and create a blockage that can cause a heart attack, stroke, painful arm or leg arterial disease, notes Dr. Gutierrez.
However, Dr. Gutierrez adds: “While evidence suggests that HIV may infect the arteries of the heart, little is known about arteries in the brain. Given that the brain arteries are unique and that they have intimate contact with the brain and the fluid around it, learning whether HIV may infect brain arteries may lead to a better understanding, and perhaps novel ideas, about the risks of stroke and other brain disease in the HIV population.”
The Campbell Foundation believes this is an important area of HIV research. Earlier this year, the foundation awarded a grant to Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, to study the impact of inflammation in the lining of blood vessels on young patients with HIV.
“We believe this is an important yet understudied area of HIV research and new answers are crucial to those living with the disease,” says Ken Rapkin, program officer with The Campbell Foundation.
ABOUT THE CAMPBELL FOUNDATION
The Campbell Foundation was established in 1995 by the late Richard Campbell Zahn as a private, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting clinical, laboratory-based research into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. It focuses its funding on supporting alternative, nontraditional avenues of research. In its 20th year, the Campbell Foundation has given away almost $10 million dollars, with about $1 million going to direct services. For more information visit www.campbellfoundation.net. Follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.