Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS

Assistant Professor
Fields of Interest: 

Dr. Joanna Hellmuth is a neurologist with sub-specialty training in cognitive and behavioral neurology. She practices at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, where she evaluates and manages patients with mild cognitive impairment; neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia; and patients with HIV-related cognitive changes. Dr. Hellmuth completed her bachelor's degree at the Johns Hopkins University, a master's degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and her medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She completed her neurology residency at the University of California, San Francisco and later joined the Memory and Aging Center for fellowship training in neurodegenerative disorders prior to joining the faculty in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Hellmuth's research interests are unraveling the neuroimmunologic mechanisms of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) to develop effective treatments and interventions.

Featured Publication:

Joanna Hellmuth MD. Can We Trust The End of Alzheimer's? Lancet Neurol. 2020;19(5):389-390. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30113-7.


Cognitive trajectories after treatment in acute HIV infection.

AIDS (London, England)

Chan P, Kerr SJ, Kroon E, Colby D, Sacdalan C, Hellmuth J, Reiss P, Vasan S, Ananworanich J, Valcour V, Spudich S, Paul R

Persistent COVID-19-associated neurocognitive symptoms in non-hospitalized patients.

Journal of neurovirology

Hellmuth J, Barnett TA, Asken BM, Kelly JD, Torres L, Stephens ML, Greenhouse B, Martin JN, Chow FC, Deeks SG, Greene M, Miller BL, Annan W, Henrich TJ, Peluso MJ

Rates of amyloid PET positivity in geriatric HIV.

Alzheimer's & Dementia

Benedetta Milanini, Shireen Javandel, Madeline Hillis, Karen Chen, Joanna Hellmuth, Robert Paul, Kilian M Pohl, Victor Valcour

Central nervous system safety during brief analytic treatment interruption of antiretroviral therapy within four HIV remission trials: an observational study in acutely treated people living with HIV

Clinical Infectious Diseases

Hellmuth J, Muccini C, Colby DJ, Kroon E, de Souza M, Crowell TA, Chan P, Sacdalan C, Intasan J, Benjapornpong K, Tipsuk S, Puttamaswin S, Chomchey N, Valcour V, Sarnecki M, Tomaka F, Krebs SJ, Slike BM, Jagodzinski L, Dumrongpisutikul N, Sailasuta N, Samboju V, Michael NL, Robb ML, Vasan S, Ananworanich J, Phanuphak P, Phanuphak N, Paul R, Spudich S, on behalf of the SEARCH 010/RV254 Study Group

Can we trust The End of Alzheimer's?

Lancet Neurology

Hellmuth J.

Bilateral basal ganglia infarcts presenting as rapid onset cognitive and behavioral disturbance.


Hellmuth J, Casaletto K, Cuneo R, Possin KL, Dillon W, Geschwind MD

Plasma inflammatory biomarkers link to diffusion tensor imaging metrics in virally suppressed HIV-infected individuals.

AIDS (London, England)

Chang K, Premeaux TA, Cobigo Y, Milanini B, Hellmuth J, Rubin LH, Javandel S, Allen I, Ndhlovu LC, Paul R, Valcour V

Resting-state neural signatures of depressive symptoms in acute HIV.

Journal of neurovirology

Philippi CL, Reyna L, Nedderman L, Chan P, Samboju V, Chang K, Phanuphak N, Ratnaratorn N, Hellmuth J, Benjapornpong K, Dumrongpisutikul N, Pothisri M, Robb ML, Ananworanich J, Spudich S, Valcour V, Paul R

Very early ART initiation during acute HIV infection is associated with normalization of cerebrospinal fluid but not plasma markers of immune activation.

The Journal of infectious diseases

Hellmuth J, Slike BM, Sacdalan C, Best J, Kroon E, Phanuphak N, Fletcher JLK, Prueksakaew P, Jagodzinski LL, Valcour V, Robb M, Ananworanich J, Allen IE, Krebs SJ, Spudich S

Deep Sequencing Reveals Central Nervous System Compartmentalization in Multiple Transmitted/Founder Virus Acute HIV-1 Infection.


Tovanabutra S, Sirijatuphat R, Pham PT, Bonar L, Harbolick EA, Bose M, Song H, Chang D, Oropeza C, O'Sullivan AM, Balinang J, Kroon E, Colby DJ, Sacdalan C, Hellmuth J, Chan P, Prueksakaew P, Pinyakorn S, Jagodzinski LL, Sutthichom D, Pattamaswin S, de Souza M, Gramzinski RA, Kim JH, Michael NL, Robb ML, Phanuphak N, Ananworanich J, Valcour V, Kijak GH, Sanders-Buell E, Spudich S

Longitudinal brain atrophy patterns and neuropsychological performance in older adults with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder compared with early Alzheimer's disease.

Neurobiology of aging

Milanini B, Samboju V, Cobigo Y, Paul R, Javandel S, Hellmuth J, Allen I, Miller B, Valcour V

Dietary Supplements for Brain Health-Reply.


Hellmuth J, Rabinovici GD, Miller BL

The Rise of Pseudomedicine for Dementia and Brain Health


Hellmuth J, Rabinovici GD, Miller, BL.

Abnormal Cerebral Perfusion Profile in Older Adults with HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder: Discriminative Power of Arterial Spin-Labeling.

AJNR. American journal of neuroradiology

Narvid J, McCoy D, Dupont SM, Callen A, Tosun D, Hellmuth J, Valcour V

A neuropathologic diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in an older adult with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder.


Hellmuth J, Milanini B, Masliah E, Tartaglia MC, Dunlop MB, Moore DJ, Javandel S, DeVaughn S, Valcour V

Distribution of HIV RNA in CSF and Blood is linked to CD4/CD8 Ratio During Acute HIV.

The Journal of infectious diseases

Chan P, Patel P, Hellmuth J, Colby DJ, Kroon E, Sacdalan C, Pinyakorn S, Jagodzinski L, Krebs S, Ananworanich J, Valcour V, Spudich S

Structural and functional brain imaging in acute HIV.

NeuroImage. Clinical

Samboju V, Philippi CL, Chan P, Cobigo Y, Fletcher JLK, Robb M, Hellmuth J, Benjapornpong K, Dumrongpisutikul N, Pothisri M, Paul R, Ananworanich J, Spudich S, Valcour V

Safety of lumbar puncture procedure in an international research setting during acute HIV infection.

Journal of Virus Eradication

Chan P, Hellmuth J, Colby D, Kroon E, Sacdalan C, Fletcher J, Patel P, Pinyakorn S, Valcour V, Ananworanich J, Spudich S

Depression and Anxiety are Common in Acute HIV Infection and Associate with Plasma Immune Activation.

AIDS and behavior

Hellmuth J, Colby D, Valcour V, Suttichom D, Spudich S, Ananworanich J, Prueksakaew P, Sailasuta N, Allen I, Jagodzinski LL, Slike B, Ochi D, Paul R

Progressive Brain Atrophy Despite Persistent Viral Suppression in HIV Patients Older Than 60 Years.

Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)

Clifford KM, Samboju V, Cobigo Y, Milanini B, Marx GA, Hellmuth JM, Rosen HJ, Kramer JH, Allen IE, Valcour VG

High Number of Activated CD8+ T Cells Targeting HIV Antigens Are Present in Cerebrospinal Fluid in Acute HIV Infection.

Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)

Kessing CF, Spudich S, Valcour V, Cartwright P, Chalermchai T, Fletcher JL, Takata H, Nichols C, Josey BJ, Slike B, Krebs SJ, Sailsuta N, Lerdlum S, Jagodzinski L, Tipsuk S, Suttichom D, Rattanamanee S, Zetterberg H, Hellmuth J, Phanuphak N, Robb ML, Michael NL, Ananworanich J, Trautmann L

Immediate initiation of cART is associated with lower levels of cerebrospinal fluid YKL-40, a marker of microglial activation, in HIV-1 infection.

AIDS (London, England)

Peluso MJ, Valcour V, Phanuphak N, Ananworanich J, Fletcher JL, Chalermchai T, Krebs SJ, Robb ML, Hellmuth J, Gisslén M, Zetterberg H, Spudich S

Neurologic signs and symptoms frequently manifest in acute HIV infection.


Kamtchum-Tatuene J, Wan Sulaiman WA, Lekoubou A, Hellmuth J, Valcour V, Spudich S

Cognitive Impairment and Persistent CNS Injury in Treated HIV.

Current HIV/AIDS reports

Chan P, Hellmuth J, Spudich S, Valcour V

50LB Central nervous system impact of vorinostat, hydroxychloroquine and maraviroc combination therapy followed by treatment interruption in individuals treated during acute HIV infection.

Journal of Virus Eradication

E. Kroon, J. Ananworanich, L. Le, J. Intasan, K. Benjapornpong, S. Pinyakorn, P. Karnsomlap, S. Tipsuk, S. Rattanamanee, J. Hellmuth, P. Eamyoung, K. Eubanks, H. Yang, N. Phanuphak, M. Souza, V. Valcour, S. Spudich, SEARCH 019 SEARCH 026 Study Groups

Neurologic signs and symptoms frequently manifest in acute HIV infection.


Hellmuth J, Fletcher JL, Valcour V, Kroon E, Ananworanich J, Intasan J, Lerdlum S, Narvid J, Pothisri M, Allen I, Krebs SJ, Slike B, Prueksakaew P, Jagodzinski LL, Puttamaswin S, Phanuphak N, Spudich S

Neurological Response to cART vs. cART plus Integrase Inhibitor and CCR5 Antagonist Initiated during Acute HIV.

PloS one

Valcour VG, Spudich SS, Sailasuta N, Phanuphak N, Lerdlum S, Fletcher JL, Kroon ED, Jagodzinski LL, Allen IE, Adams CL, Prueksakaew P, Slike BM, Hellmuth JM, Kim JH, Ananworanich J

CNS reservoirs for HIV: implications for eradication.

Journal of Virus Eradication

Hellmuth J, Valcour V, Spudich S

Interactions between ageing and NeuroAIDS.

Current opinion in HIV and AIDS

Hellmuth J, Milanini B, Valcour V

Multicenter validation of a bedside antisaccade task as a measure of executive function.


Hellmuth J, Mirsky J, Heuer HW, Matlin A, Jafari A, Garbutt S, Widmeyer M, Berhel A, Sinha L, Miller BL, Kramer JH, Boxer AL

Saccade abnormalities in autopsy-confirmed frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer disease.

Archives of neurology

Boxer AL, Garbutt S, Seeley WW, Jafari A, Heuer HW, Mirsky J, Hellmuth J, Trojanowski JQ, Huang E, DeArmond S, Neuhaus J, Miller BL

P3-005: The antisaccade task is sensitive to attention network integrity in normal elderly and dementia.

Alzheimer's & Dementia

Adam L. Boxer, Alisa Matlin, Daniel Handwerker, Siobhan Garbutt, Joanna Hellmuth, Ana Schenk, Simona Brambati, Marilu Gorno-Tempini, Stephen G. Lisberger, Bruce L. Miller, RolG Henry

Oculomotor function in frontotemporal lobar degeneration, related disorders and Alzheimer's disease.

Brain : a journal of neurology

Garbutt S, Matlin A, Hellmuth J, Schenk AK, Johnson JK, Rosen H, Dean D, Kramer J, Neuhaus J, Miller BL, Lisberger SG, Boxer AL

Essential function of HIPK2 in TGFbeta-dependent survival of midbrain dopamine neurons.

Nature neuroscience

Zhang J, Pho V, Bonasera SJ, Holtzman J, Tang AT, Hellmuth J, Tang S, Janak PH, Tecott LH, Huang EJ

Medial versus lateral frontal lobe contributions to voluntary saccade control as revealed by the study of patients with frontal lobe degeneration.

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Boxer AL, Garbutt S, Rankin KP, Hellmuth J, Neuhaus J, Miller BL, Lisberger SG