Drs. Cohen and Porges Featured in UFHealth’s Newsroom

Cohen and PorgesCHP’s Ronald Cohen and Eric Porges are highlighted in a recent post by UFHealth’s Newsroom.

Thanks to a project grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, UF researchers will evaluate three promising interventions aimed at improving cognitive function among people with HIV who consume hazardous amounts of alcohol.

“Previous research by our team and others shows connections between current and lifetime alcohol use and adverse effects on cognitive function,” said Ronald Cohen, Ph.D., one of the study’s other principal investigators and director of the Center for Cognitive Aging and Memory Clinical Translational Research. “Our neuroimaging findings show that heavy alcohol use is associated with structural and functional brain abnormalities in people living with HIV.”*

“The new project will include a trial to evaluate both a transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulator device and a probiotic intended to improve the gut microbiome. It is led by UF researchers Eric Porges, Ph.D., and Natalie Chichetto, Ph.D., along with Shirish Barve, Ph.D., of the University of Louisville. The strategies used in the trials have been designed for application in real-world settings.”*

“By the end of the project, we will have advanced our knowledge on mechanisms linking the gut to the brain, as well as data regarding efficacy and acceptability of three new interventions,” said Cohen, a professor of clinical and health psychology in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions. “While there are numerous interventions and programs focused on ways to reduce HIV transmission, we are not likely to be able to achieve success in ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. unless we address underlying conditions, such as alcohol use and cognitive deficits.”

*Excerpts used by permission from Jill Pease, Public Relations Director, College of Public Health and Health Professions.

To view the article in its entirety visit this LINK.