Acculturation has been linked to neuropsychological performance in several ethnic groups. However, research among Latina/o samples has examined primarily Mexican/Mexican Americans, and has not examined Latina/o clinical populations of Caribbean descent. This study examined associations between a multidimensional acculturation measure and neuropsychological performance among 82 HIV+ Caribbean Latina/o adults. Multivariate results showed that U.S. acculturation significantly predicted 11–14% of the variance in Global Neuropsychological functioning, Verbal Fluency, and Processing Speed, whereas Latina/o acculturation predicted 8% of the variance in Executive Function and 6% in Motor Function (trend level associations). Both linguistic and non-linguistic cultural factors had distinct effects on neuropsychological performance.
Among English-speaking adults, HIV-associated neuropsychological (NP) impairments have been associated with problems in everyday functioning, including ability to function at work and drive an automobile. Latinos account for a disproportionate number of HIV/AIDS cases nationwide, and a significant segment of this population is primarily Spanish speaking. We have previously developed an assessment that evaluates English-speakers on a variety of instrumental activities of daily living. In this pilot study, we used Spanish-language translations of our functional battery to investigate the cultural relevance of such measures, and to explore relationships between NP status and ability to perform important everyday tasks in HIV-infected Spanish-speakers. Sixteen HIV-infected monolingual Spanish-speaking adults received comprehensive, Spanish language NP testing and functional assessments included the following domains: Medication Management, Cooking, Finances, Shopping, and Restaurant Scenario. Results revealed that most of the functional tasks appeared culturally relevant and appropriate with minor modifications. NP-impaired participants were significantly more functionally impaired compared to NP-normals (88% vs. 13%, p<.01). Performances on the functional assessment and the NP battery were also related to indicators of real world functioning, including employment status and quality of life. These results, though preliminary, suggest that Spanish language functional assessments are potentially valid tools for detecting everyday functioning deficits associated with NP impairments in HIV-infected Spanish-speakers.
Episodic memory deficits are common in HIV infection and bipolar disorder, but patient insight into such deficits remains unclear. Thirty-four HIV-infected individuals without bipolar disorder l(HIV+/BD−) and 47 HIV+ individuals with comorbid bipolar disorder (HIV+/BD+) were administered the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised to examine objective learning/memory functioning. Subjective memory complaints were assessed via the memory subscale of the Patient’s Assessment of Own Functioning Inventory. HIV+/BD+ individuals performed poorer on tests of visual learning and visual/verbal recall compared to HIV+/BD− participants (ps<0.05). Memory complaints only predicted verbal learning (at a trend level, p=0.10) and recall (p=0.03) among the HIV+/BD− individuals. Memory complaints were not associated with memory performance within the HIV+/BD+ group (ps>0.10). Memory complaints were associated with affective symptoms in both groups. These complaints were also predictive of immunosuppression, higher unemployment, and greater dependence on Activities of Daily Living among the HIV+/BD+ individuals (ps<0.05). Awareness of memory abilities was particularly poor among HIV+/BD+ individuals (i.e., objective learning/memory did not correspond to reported complaints), which has important implications for the capacity of these individuals to engage in error-monitoring and compensatory strategies in daily life. Memory complaints are associated with depressed mood regardless of group membership. Among HIV+/BD+ individuals, these complaints may also signify worse HIV disease status and problems with everyday functioning. Clinicians and researchers should be cognizant of what these complaints indicate in order to lead treatment most effectively; use of objective neurocognitive assessments may still be warranted when working with these populations.
Self report; Infectious Diseases; Affective Disorders; Episodic Memory; Cognition
We examined the role of orbitofrontal (OF) cortex in regulating emotion-attention interaction and the balance between involuntary and voluntary attention allocation. We studied patients with OF lesion applying reaction time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) measures in a lateralized visual discrimination task with novel task-irrelevant affective pictures (unpleasant, pleasant or neutral) preceding a neutral target. This allowed for comparing the effects of automatic attention allocation to emotional vs neutral stimuli on subsequent voluntary attention allocation to target stimuli. N2-P3a and N2-P3b ERP components served as measures of involuntary and voluntary attention allocation correspondingly. Enhanced N2-P3a amplitudes to emotional distractors and reduced N2-P3b amplitudes to targets preceded by emotional distractors were observed in healthy subjects, suggesting automatic emotional orienting interfered with subsequent voluntary orienting. OF patients showed an opposite pattern with tendency towards reduced N2-P3a responses to emotional distractors, suggesting impaired automatic orienting to emotional stimuli due to orbitofrontal damage. Enhanced N2-P3b responses to targets preceded by any affective distractor was observed in OF patients, suggesting bias towards voluntary target-related attention allocation due to orbitofrontal lesion. Behavioral evidence indicated that LVF attention performance was modulated by emotional stimuli. Specifically, OF patients responded faster to LVF targets subsequent to pleasant emotional distractors. We suggest damage to the orbitofrontal circuitry leads to dysbalance between voluntary and involuntary attention allocation in the context of affective distracters with predisposition to posterior target related processing over frontal novelty and affect related processing. Furthermore, we suggest orbitofrontal influence on emotion- attention interaction is valence and hemisphere dependent.
The recently developed Face Name Associative Memory Exam (FNAME), a challenging paired associative learning task, shows promise in detecting the subtle cognitive changes characteristic of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, we evaluated the validity and reliability of the FNAME in 210 cognitively normal older individuals (58-90 years of age). Construct validity of the measure was assessed by principal components analysis, which revealed two independent factors. Correlations between the FNAME subtests and another episodic memory test were significant. The results indicated strong test-retest reliability in a subsample (n = 41). Normative data stratified by age were also generated.
preclinical Alzheimer’s disease; aging; neuropsychology; instrument validation
The profile of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) has classically been characterized as “subcortical”, but questions have arisen as to whether aging with HIV in the antiretroviral therapy era has subtlety shifted the expression of HAND into a more “cortical” disorder (e.g., decay of semantic memory stores). We evaluated this hypothesis by examining semantic fluency and its component processes (i.e., clustering and switching) in 257 individuals across four groups stratified by age (<40 and ≥ 50 years) and HIV serostatus. Jonckheere-Terpstra tests revealed significant monotonic trends for the combined effects of HIV and aging on overall semantic (and letter) fluency and switching, but not cluster size, with greatest deficits evident in the older adults with HIV infection. Within the older HIV-infected cohort, poorer switching was uniquely associated with self-reported declines in instrumental activities of daily living and deficits in learning and executive functions, but not semantic memory. Results suggest that HIV infection and aging may confer adverse additive effects on the executive components of semantic fluency (i.e., switching), rather than a degradation of semantic memory stores (i.e., cluster size), which is a profile that is most consistent with combined frontostriatal neuropathological burden of these two conditions.
Immunologic disorders; geropsychology; verbal fluency; executive functions; cognitive neuropsychology
Sex differences in neurobiological mechanisms of substance dependence are well documented but studies of sex differences in associated neurocognitive deficits have produced inconsistent results. PTSD is comorbid with substance dependence and frequently affects neurocognition. Thus, we investigated the effects of sex and PTSD symptoms on sustained attention and inhibition abilities among 126 female and 297 male substance dependent individuals (SDIs) using the Immediate Memory Test (IMT). Females with significant PTSD (PTSD+) symptoms demonstrated significantly impaired IMT performance relative to other participants. These results represent progress in efforts to delineate sex-specific risk factors for neurocognitive deficits among SDIs.
Cognitive impairment is common among individuals with heart failure (HF), but the exact nature of these impairments remains unclear. The current study examined 140 older adults with heart failure and sought to determine whether there are distinct cognitive profiles using a cluster analytic approach. Results indicated three unique profiles comprising of individuals who were cognitively intact, memory impaired, and globally impaired. Clusters differed on several important demographic and clinical characteristics. These findings suggest cognitive impairment in persons with HF is more heterogeneous than commonly believed and have important implications for treatment recommendations.
heart failure; cognitive function; cognitive profiles; older adults; cluster analysis
The current study explored the complicated interplay between aphasia and the stress biomarker, cortisol, in left hemisphere (LH) and right hemisphere (RH) stroke patients. Nineteen LH patients and 12 RH patients began the study between one to six months post-stroke and were followed for three months. During this time, language skills were assessed monthly while afternoon salivary cortisol samples were collected biweekly. The LH and RH groups showed improvements in language test scores over the course of three months; however, only naming skills in the RH group appeared to be associated with afternoon salivary cortisol levels. Furthermore, contradicting previous reports regarding laterality and cortisol regulation in humans, the current study found that both LH patients and RH patients exhibited similar afternoon salivary cortisol levels across all time points.
The aim of the current study was to develop and validate demographically-adjusted normative standards for the HIV Dementia Scale (HDS). Given the association between demographic variables and the HDS summary score, demographically-adjusted normative standards may enhance the classification accuracy of the HDS. Demographically-adjusted normative standards were derived from a sample of 182 seronegative healthy participants and were subsequently applied to a sample of 135 HIV-1 seropositive individuals with multidisciplinary case conference diagnoses of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (e.g., HIV-1-associated dementia and Minor-Cognitive/Motor Disorder) in proportions consistent with published epidemiologic reports. In the normative sample, age and education (and their interaction) emerged as the only demographic factors significantly associated with the HDS. In comparison to the traditional HDS cut score (raw score total ≤10), use of the demographically-adjusted normative standards significantly improved the sensitivity (from 17.2% to 70.7%, respectively) and overall classification accuracy (increasing the odds ratio from 3 to approximately 6) of the HDS for identifying participants with HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders. The application of demographically-adjusted normative standards on the HDS improves the clinical applicability and accuracy of this cognitive screening measure in the detection of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Screening Tests; Dementia; Neuropsychological Assessment
The ability of the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM), reaction times (RT) and Event-Related Potentials (ERP) to detect malingered neurocognitive deficit (MNCD) was examined in 32 normal individuals answering under honest (HON; n = 16) or malingering instructions (MAL; n = 16) as well as in 15 patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) who answered under honest instructions. Overall, the TOMM was the most effective at classifying groups. However, new accuracy, RT, and ERP measures reached promising hit rates in the range of 71%-88%. In particular, the difference in frontal versus posterior ERP obtained during an old-new task was effective at classifying MAL vs. TBI (hit rate = 87%).
Analyses of individual differences in change may be unintentionally biased when versions of a neuropsychological test used at different follow-ups are not of equivalent difficulty. This study’s objective was to compare mean, linear, and equipercentile equating methods and demonstrate their utility in longitudinal research.
Study Design and Setting
The Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE, N=1,401) study is a longitudinal randomized trial of cognitive training. The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI, n=819) is an observational cohort study. Nonequivalent alternate versions of the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) were administered in both studies.
Using visual displays, raw and mean-equated AVLT scores in both studies showed obvious nonlinear trajectories in reference groups that should show minimal change, poor equivalence over time (ps≤0.001), and raw scores demonstrated poor fits in models of within-person change (RMSEAs>0.12). Linear and equipercentile equating produced more similar means in reference groups (ps≥0.09) and performed better in growth models (RMSEAs<0.05).
Equipercentile equating is the preferred equating method because it accommodates tests more difficult than a reference test at different percentiles of performance and performs well in models of within-person trajectory. The method has broad applications in both clinical and research settings to enhance the ability to use nonequivalent test forms.
equating; equipercentile; neuropsychology; longitudinal analysis; alternate forms; parallel forms
Marijuana (MJ) use and HIV infection are both associated with neurocognitive deficits, yet there is little research to date examining their interactions, specifically how they pertain to procedural learning (PL). We examined a sample of 86 individuals with a history of dependence for multiple substances who underwent a comprehensive evaluation including measures of mental health, substance use history, and three measures of PL: the photoelectric Rotary Pursuit Task (RPT), the Star Mirror Tracing Task (SMT), and the Weather Prediction Task (WPT). We found that a positive HIV serostatus and a history of marijuana dependence were both independently associated with overall poorer performance on the SMT and RPT in this sample of individuals with a history of dependence for multiple substances. Rate of improvement across trial blocks did not differ as a function of HIV serostatus or history of marijuana dependence. Although we found no significant HIV × MJ interaction for any of the PL tasks, we did observe evidence of additive negative effects from HIV and a history of marijuana dependence on overall performance on the SMT and RPT, but not the WPT. The findings suggest that complex motor skills are adversely affected among abstinent polysubstance users with a history of marijuana dependence and that such deficits are compounded by HIV.
HIV; Cannabis; Nondeclarative memory; Striatum; Motor skills
This study examined the effects of aging and cognitive impairment on medication and finance management in an HIV sample. We observed main effects of age (older < younger) and neuropsychological impairment on functional task performance. Interactions between age and cognition demonstrated that older impaired individuals performed significantly more poorly than all other comparison groups. There were no relationships between laboratory performance and self-reported medication and finance management. The interaction of advancing age and cognitive impairment may confer significant functional limitations for HIV individuals that may be better detected by performance-based measures of functional abilities rather than patient self-report.
Neuropsychology; HIV; Aging; Functional abilities; Medication management; Finance management
Determine whether adults with hepatitis C, regardless of substance use disorder, are more likely to discount delayed rewards than adults without hepatitis C, and explore the relationship between delay discounting and neuropsychological functioning.
Procedures included clinical interviews, neuropsychological testing, and a delay discounting task.
Regardless of substance abuse history, adults with hepatitis C were significantly more likely to choose smaller immediate rewards over larger delayed rewards. Delay discounting correlated with performance on executive functioning tasks.
Increased discounting is associated with broad executive dysfunction, suggesting that HCV associated executive dysfunction may lead to altered decision making style.
hepatitis C; neuropsychology; impulsive behavior; substance-related disorders; delay discounting
Although impairment of episodic memory is common after traumatic brain injury (TBI), the complex nature of human memory suggests the need to study more than recall alone. For this reason, we are presenting an extension with additional analyses of persons reported in a previous publication (Russell et al., 2011). We examined both the encoding and recognition components of an episodic memory paradigm containing both word and letter string blocks using fMRI and neuropsychological testing. This paradigm was completed by 12 persons with complicated mild, moderate, or severe TBI and 12 matched uninjured controls. Comparisons were made between groups and stimulus types. While task behavioral performance was not significantly different between groups, imaging results showed greater activation for the TBI group during the encoding portion of the task, while the control group exhibited more activation on the recognition portion. Observed areas of activation suggest that the TBI group may have used a less effective, but more automatic verbal strategy for encoding the non-pronounceable letter strings, while controls may have opted for more of a recognition-focused strategy. Group differences in CVLT-II performance supported these ideas and further neuropsychological testing also suggested limitations in executive functioning in the TBI group that may have influenced performance. Implications for intervention are discussed.
traumatic brain injury; magnetic resonance imaging; episodic memory; encoding; recognition
The delay interval between encoding a future intention and detection of the retrieval cue is an essential feature of prospective memory (PM). McDaniel and Einstein’s (2000) multi-process theory posits that greater demands are placed on strategic monitoring processes as the delay interval lengthens. This hypothesis was examined in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), which are associated with strategic dyscontrol of PM likely secondary to prefrontostriatal circuit pathology. Seventy-eight seronegative adults and 49 individuals with HAND comprised the study groups, which were comparable with regard to demographic, psychiatric, and substance use factors. As part of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, participants were administered a well-validated PM measure that included short (2-minute) and long- (15-min) task delay interval scales that utilized a standardized word search as the ongoing task. Results revealed a significant interaction of group and delay interval, with significant effects of HAND on PM at long, but not short delay. The long delay PM effect in HAND was driven primarily by deficits in time-based PM and was most strongly associated with markers of executive dysfunction. In concordance with the multi-process theory, individuals with HAND were disproportionately vulnerable to PM deficits at longer ongoing task delay intervals, which appear to be driven by strategic dyscontrol of PM that is consistent with the preferential disruption of prefrontal systems in neuroAIDS. Difficulty with successfully completing PM tasks following a longer delay could manifest in real-world problems, such as medication nonadherence and unemployment, and characterizing this specific deficit may inform remediation strategies.
Prospective memory; HIV/AIDS; episodic memory; executive functions; time perception; AIDS Dementia Complex
This study was conducted to assess gender differences in cognition in elderly individuals (N = 88; 38 women, 50 men) with atherosclerotic vascular disease (AVD) and to determine whether these were attributable to differences in vascular health. Assessments included neuropsychological testing and measurement of forearm vascular function using venous occlusion plethysmography. There was a significant female advantage on multiple neuropsychological tests. This gender effect was reduced somewhat but remained significant when controlling for education and vascular function. Our study suggests that gender differences in cognition persist into older age and are not primarily due to gender differences in vascular health.
Gender; Cognition; Vascular disease; Neuropsychology; Vascular function
This study was designed to determine the relationships between PET-based quantitative measures of cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reserve and neuropsychological functioning in elderly individuals with atherosclerotic vascular disease. It was hypothesized that cerebrovascular function would be significantly associated with neuropsychological functioning. Results showed that both baseline global cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reserve were significantly associated with global neuropsychological functioning, when controlling for age and sex. Cerebrovascular reserve was additionally associated with performance on measures of memory and attention. Additional research is needed to determine whether measures of cerebral blood flow can be used to predict cognitive decline.
There is an increasing need for standardized assessment of cognition in older patients that is relatively brief, easy to administer, and has normative data adjusted for age and educational attainment. We tested 332 literate, cognitively normal, Spanish persons older than 49 years from the Memory Clinic of Fundació ACE, Institut Català de Neurociències Aplicades (Barcelona, Spain) with measures of cognitive information processing speed, orientation, attention, verbal learning and memory, language, visuoperception, praxis, and executive functions. Several of the tests were affected by age, education, and/or gender, but the language of administration (i.e., Spanish or Catalan) did not affect the test scores. Standardized scores and percentile ranks were calculated for each age and/or education group for use by clinical neuropsychologists.
Neuropsychological assessment; Aging; Educational effects; Verbal learning; Cognition
What pattern of brain damage could completely obliterate the sense of olfaction in humans? We had an opportunity to address this intriguing question in patient B., who has extensive bilateral damage to most of the limbic system, including the medial and lateral temporal lobes, orbital frontal cortex, insular cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and basal forebrain, caused by herpes simplex encephalitis. The patient demonstrated profound impairments in odor identification and recognition. Moreover, he could not discriminate between olfactory stimuli and he had severe impairments in odor detection. Reliable stimulus detection was obtained only for solutions of the organic solvent acetone and highly concentrated solutions of ethanol. In contrast to the more circumscribed olfactory deficits demonstrated in patients with damage confined to either the temporal lobes or orbitofrontal cortex (which tend to involve odor identification but not odor detection), patient B. demonstrates a strikingly severe and complete anosmia. This contrast in olfactory abilities and deficits as a result of different anatomical pathology affords new insights into the neural substrates of olfactory processing in humans.
Previous studies suggested that sleep apnea is associated with neurocognitive impairments but did not examine populations most likely to have clinically relevant impairments. Cross-sectional, retrospective analyses were performed on 108 patients (65 with Mild Cognitive Impairment, 43 with dementia) seen in an academic medical center. Results indicated that severity of oxygen desaturation was associated with cognitive impairments in attention and executive function domains, even after controlling for age, sex, education and depressive symptoms. Strength of associations was influenced by cardiovascular disease. Screening for nocturnal oxygen desaturation may be a useful procedure to assess for a potentially reversible cause of cognitive impairment.
Sleep Apnea; Cardiovascular Disease; Pulse Oximetry; Cognitive Disorders; Geriatrics; Neuropsychology
Few studies have investigated the complex nature of everyday activity memory following traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study examined recovery of content and temporal order memory for performed activities during the first year in individuals who suffered moderate to severe TBI. TBI and control participants completed eight different cognitive activities at baseline (i.e., acutely following injury for TBI) and then again approximately one year later (follow-up). Participants’ free recall of the activities provided a measure of content memory. Temporal order memory was assessed with a reconstruction task. Self-report and informant-report of everyday memory problems at follow-up was used to examine the relationship between activity memory performances and everyday memory. TBI participants showed significant recovery in both content and temporal order memory for activities during the first year. Despite showing significant recovery, the TBI group’s activity memory performances remained poorer than controls at follow-up. Greater self- and informant-report of everyday memory difficulties was associated with poorer temporal order memory but not content memory for activities. These findings demonstrate recovery in multiple memory processes that support activity memory following moderate to severe TBI. The findings also suggest a stronger link between everyday memory abilities and temporal order memory for activities in comparison to activity memory content in a TBI population.
activity memory; closed head injury; recovery; episodic memory; everyday memory