Dr. Ezeamama receives a 2.7 million grant from the NIMH

Dr.  Amara Ezeamama, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry has received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a risk assessment tool for children and adolescents affected by HIV

Posted: Mar 12, 2024

More than 1 in 3 children from low- and middle income countries (LMIC) are cognitively impaired and at risk of neurocognitive disorder (ND) due to malnutrition, immune dysfunction, HIV, and poverty-associated parasitic infections. All LMIC children – including HIV unexposed uninfected (HUU), are at risk of ND but HIV-infected and HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) are at elevated risk. Presently, there is no reliable approach to separate these vulnerable children along the continuum of risk for new-onset/progressive ND. This problem prevents risk-stratification, timely identification and targeting of at-risk children for ND remediation or prevention interventions.

With the R01 grant, “Identifying adolescents at high risk of neurocognitive disorder: Development and validation of a composite risk index”, Dr. Ezeamama advances the science needed to ensure that all children survive and thrive neurodevelopmentally whether HIV-infected, HEU, or HUU through establishment of predictive index for neurocognitive ND. Modifiable factors that are found to be driving this index can become potential targets for novel therapeutic strategies and behavioral interventions to mitigate the high burden of ND in low- and middle income countries.

Want to learn more? Read her conversation with Mathew Davenport from MSU Today