Projects

Heart Inflammation and Mental Stress (HIMS) Study

Compared to HIV-negative individuals persons living with HIV show poorer cardio-autonomic, neurocognitive and emotional functioning due to the neurodegenerative effects of the virus on cortical and subcortical brain regions. The HIMS Study is currently recruiting 150 men and women living with and without HIV that are healthy or have elevated blood pressure but have not been diagnosed with hypertension. The main objectives of the study are to (1) assess divergent patterns of brain activity and connectivity that confers poorer cardio-autonomic regulation during rest, mental stress, and psychological distress and (2) determine whether respiratory behavior mitigates the effect task-related changes in cardio-autonomic, inflammatory-immune, and emotional regulation.

BREATH Lab from Kindea Labs on Vimeo.

Heart in Mind Study

Cardiovascular disease mortality is elevated in ethnic minority women living with chronic HIV infection. The HIM Study is actively recruiting post-menopausal women from the greater Miami-Dade area living with hypertension and/or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The aim of this study is to examine the various ways chronic HIV-infection may contribute hypertension in these women. Specifically, we are investigating (1) an upstream model upstream model for the impact of HIV on cardio-respiratory interoceptive awareness, (2) a downstream model for the effect of HIV on the central nervous system’s ability to regulate heart rate and blood pressure, and (3) a psycho-neuro-immunological model for HIV-related psychological distress on monocyte activation and endothelial cell dysfunction. 

Who: adults living with hypertension or HIV.
What: blood draw, psychological surveys, brain scan, cardio-autonomic testing.
Session 1 Diagram

Session 2 Diagram

When: now recruiting.
Where: Don Soffer Clinical Research Center Cox Neuroscience Annex
Why: persons living with HIV have a greater risk for neurocognitive dysfunction, psychological distress, and cardiovascular disease. The Heart in Mind Study examines how these health outcomes are related.
Participation Flyer

Click to download the flyer for HIV+.
Click to download the flyer for HIV-.


Some of the data we collect

Heart Rate Variability

Heart Rate Variability

Vascular Endothelial Function
Vascular Endothelial Function

HIV Neuroinflammatory Markers

HIV Neuroinflammatory Markers


Resting State Functional Connectivity
Resting State Functional Connectivity

fMRI
fMRI

Blood Pressure Monitor
Blood Pressure Monitor

Flow Cytometry
Flow Cytometry

Respiration, EKG, EDA
Respiration, EKG, EDA

Blood draw
Blood draw

Exercise Test
Exercise Test

Flow-mediated Dilation