Research Core

The Rush CEDHA Research Core recruits, enrolls, and follows annually, a cohort of persons, 50 years and older, with and without HIV to provide a source of clinical data and biologic specimens for research on common consequences of aging with and without HIV.


These data are linked to identical data collected from older (>65 years of age) HIV-negative persons participating in other studies of aging at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in order to compare aging-related consequences and experiences between persons aging with HIV and those aging without HIV.


The Research Core also supports 3 research projects that address health disparities:


Project 1:

Combined effects of HIV, age, and race on inflammation-related brain abnormalities


Led by Drs. Konstantinos Arfanakis and Debra Fleischman, this project conducts magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans and measures inflammatory markers in blood to understand how age, race, and inflammation interact to influence brain aging in persons with HIV


Project 2:

Racial differences in immune perturbations in HIV and aging


Led by Dr. Seema Desai, this project measures immune senesence markers in serum to estimate the aging process of cells in persons infected with HIV compared to those without HIV. The project will test the hypothesis that racial differences in immune function lead to early immune senescence in African Americans infected with HIV, and that psychosocial stress accounts for increased activiation and inflammation, as well as more rapid disease progression


Project 3:

Fish oil as a treatment to reduce inflamm-aging in HIV


Led by Dr. Barbara Swanson, this project is a 12-week, randomized, clinical trial designed to explore the safety and effect size of fish oil as a treatment for inflammation and immune senescence in HIV.