The ability to accurately perceive the passage of time relies on several neurocognitive abilities, including attention, memory, and executive functions, which are domains commonly affected in persons living with HIV disease.
The current study examined time estimation and production and their neurocognitive correlates in a sample of 53 HIV+ individuals with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), 120 HIV+ individuals without HAND, and 113 HIV− individuals.
Results revealed a moderate main effect of HAND on time estimation and a trend-level effect on time production, but no interaction between HAND and time interval duration. Correlational analyses revealed that time estimation in the HIV+ group was associated with attention, episodic memory and time-based prospective memory.
Findings indicate that individuals with HAND evidence deficits in time interval judgment suggestive of failures in basic attentional and memory processes.
AIDS dementia complex; Time perception; Attention; Memory; Executive Functions; Cognition
Methamphetamine (MA) dependence is associated with executive dysfunction, but no studies have evaluated MA-related elevations in neurocognitive intraindividual variability (IIV), an expression of cognitive dyscontrol linked to poor daily functioning in populations with frontal systems injury. We examined IIV during a vigilance task in a well-characterized sample of 35 MA-dependent (MA+) and 55 non-MA using comparison participants (MA−) as part of a larger neuropsychological battery that included self-report and performance-based measures of everyday functioning. A mixed model ANOVA was conducted while controlling for covariates, including factors that differed between the groups (e.g., education) and those with conceptual relevance to IIV: mean reaction time, global cognitive performance, and HIV-infection (which was comparable across groups; p = .32). This analysis revealed significantly elevated IIV among MA+ relative to MA− individuals that was comparable in magnitude across all trial blocks of the vigilance task. Within the MA group, elevated IIV was associated with executive dysfunction, psychomotor slowing, and recency of MA use, as well as poorer automobile driving simulator performance, worse laboratory-based functional skills, and more cognitive complaints. MA-users are vulnerable to IIV elevation, likely due to cognitive dyscontrol, which may increase their risk of real-world problems.
Substance dependence; within-person variability; cognitive control; activities of daily living; neuropsychological assessment
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are associated with deficits in prospective memory (PM; “remembering to remember”), conferring risk of daily functioning declines. However, self-perceptions of PM functioning are not reliably associated with PM performance in HIV, suggesting a possible deficit in awareness of PM abilities (meta-PM). Our study examined meta-PM in HAND and its correlates using self-predictions of laboratory-based PM performance. Performance-based PM abilities, self-reported prediction of PM performance, and PM complaints in everyday life were assessed in 49 individuals with HAND, 93 HIV+ without HAND (HIV+ noHAND), and 121 seronegative adults (HIV−). After controlling for group-level differences, HAND was associated with a greater number of PM symptoms in everyday life and worse PM performance when compared with both HIV+ noHAND and HIV− samples. Although HAND individuals reported somewhat lower predictions regarding their laboratory PM performance relative to the other study groups, they nevertheless exhibited significantly greater inaccurate overconfidence in time-based PM abilities. Within the HAND group, overconfidence in time-based meta-PM was associated with executive dysfunction and antiretroviral (ARV) nonadherence. HAND individuals evidenced a moderate deficit in awareness of PM functioning characterized by overconfidence in time-based PM abilities. Overconfidence in PM may result in absence of compensatory strategy use, and lead to increased errors in daily functioning (e.g., ARV nonadherence).
Executive functions; Metacognition; Everyday functioning
Event-based prospective memory (PM) tasks require individuals to remember to perform an action when they encounter a specific cue in the environment, and have clear relevance for daily functioning for individuals with HIV. In many everyday tasks, the individual must not only maintain the intent to perform the PM task, but the PM task response also competes with the alternative and more habitual task response. The current study examined whether event-based PM can be improved by slowing down the pace of the task environment. Fifty-seven young adults living with HIV performed an ongoing lexical decision task while simultaneously performing a PM task of monitoring for a specific word (which was focal to the ongoing task of making lexical decisions) or syllable contained in a word (which was nonfocal). Participants were instructed to refrain from making task responses until after a tone was presented, which occurred at varying onsets (0–1600ms) after each stimulus appeared. Improvements in focal and non-focal PM accuracy were observed with response delays of 600ms. Furthermore, the difference in PM accuracy between the low demand focal PM task and the resource demanding non-focal PM task was reduced by half across increasingly longer delays, falling from 31% at 0ms delay to only 14% at 1600ms delay. The degree of ongoing task response slowing for the PM conditions, relative to a control condition that did not have a PM task and made lexical decisions only, also decreased with increased delay. Overall, the evidence indicates that delaying the task responses of younger HIV-infected adults increased the probability that the PM relevant features of task stimuli were adequately assessed prior to the ongoing task response, and by implication that younger HIV infected adults can more adequately achieve PM goals when the pace of the task environment is slowed down.
HIV/AIDS; Prospective memory; Executive functions; Response delay; Cue focality
Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of task importance on event-based prospective memory (PM) in separate samples of adults with HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) and HIV-infected young adults with Substance Use Disorders (SUD).
All participants completed three conditions of an ongoing lexical decision task: 1) without PM task requirements; 2) with PM task requirements that emphasized the importance of the ongoing task; and 3) with PM task requirements that emphasized the importance of the PM task.
In both experiments, all HIV+ groups showed the expected increase in response costs to the ongoing task when the PM task’s importance was emphasized. In Experiment 1, individuals with HAND showed significantly lower PM accuracy as compared to HIV+ subjects without HAND when the importance of the ongoing task was emphasized, but improved significantly and no longer differed from HIV+ subjects without HAND when the PM task was emphasized. A similar pattern of findings emerged in Experiment 2, whereby HIV+ young adults with SUD (especially cannabis) showed significant improvements in PM accuracy when the PM task was emphasized.
Findings suggest that both HAND and SUD may increase the amount of cognitive attentional resources that need to be allocated to support PM performance in persons living with HIV infection.
Infectious disease; Episodic memory; AIDS dementia complex; Marijuana abuse; Attention; Substance-related disorders
Aging and HIV are both risk factors for memory deficits and declines in real-world functioning. However, we know little about the profile of memory deficits driving instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) declines across the lifespan in HIV. This study examined 145 younger (<50 years) and 119 older (≥50 years) adults with HIV who completed the California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II), the Wechsler Memory Scale-Third Edition Logical Memory subtest (WMS-III LM), and a modified Lawton and Brody ADL questionnaire. No memory predictors of IADL dependence emerged in the younger cohort. In the older group, IADL dependence was uniquely associated with worse performance on all primary CVLT-II variables, as well as elevated recency effects. Poorer immediate and delayed recall of the WMS-III LM was also associated with IADL dependence, although recognition was intact. Findings suggest older HIV-infected adults with shallow encoding and forgetting are at risk for IADL dependence.
Aging; Disability; Everyday functioning; Learning and memory
The acute and early period of HIV-1 infection (AEH) is characterized by neuroinflammatory and immunopathogenic processes that can alter the integrity of neural systems and neurocognitive functions. However, the extent to which central nervous system changes in AEH confer increased risk of real-world functioning (RWF) problems is not known. In the present study, 34 individuals with AEH and 39 seronegative comparison participants completed standardized neuromedical, psychiatric, and neurocognitive research evaluations, alongside a comprehensive assessment of RWF that included cognitive symptoms in daily life, basic and instrumental activities of daily living, clinician-rated global functioning, and employment. Results showed that AEH was associated with a significantly increased risk of dependence in RWF, which was particularly elevated among AEH persons with global neurocognitive impairment (NCI). Among those with AEH, NCI (i.e., deficits in learning and information processing speed), mood disorders (i.e., Bipolar Disorder), and substance dependence (e.g., methamphetamine dependence) were all independently predictive of RWF dependence. Findings suggest that neurocognitively impaired individuals with AEH are at notably elevated risk of clinically significant challenges in normal daily functioning. Screening for neurocognitive, mood, and substance use disorders in AEH may facilitate identification of individuals at high risk of functional dependence who may benefit from psychological and medical strategies to manage their neuropsychiatric conditions.
Infectious disease; Disability; Substance use; Neuropsychology; AIDS-related Dementia
Strategic monitoring during a delay interval is theorized to be an essential feature of time-based prospective memory (TB PM), the cognitive architecture of which is thought to rely heavily on frontostriatal systems and executive functions. This hypothesis was examined in 55 individuals with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and 108 seronegative comparison participants who were administered the Memory for Intentions Screening Test (MIST), during which time monitoring (clock checking) behavior was measured. Results revealed a significant interaction between HAND group and the frequency of clock checking, in which individuals with HAND monitored checked the clock significantly less often than the comparison group across the TB PM retention intervals of the MIST. Subsequent analyses in the HAND sample revealed that the frequency of clocking checking was positively related to overall TB performance, as well as to standard clinical measures of retrospective memory and verbal fluency. These findings add support to a growing body of research elucidating TB PM’s reliance on strategic monitoring processes dependent upon intact frontostriatal systems. HIV-associated TB strategic time monitoring deficits may manifest in poorer functioning outcomes, including medication non-adherence and dependence in activities of daily living. Future research is needed to further delineate the cognitive mechanisms underlying strategic time monitoring in order to advise rehabilitation strategies for reducing HAND related TB PM deficits.
HIV/AIDS; Prospective memory; Executive functions; Time perception; AIDS dementia complex
Individuals infected with HIV show moderate deficits in decision-making, but the ecological relevance of such deficits on everyday functioning has not previously been described. This study sought to examine the magnitude, cognitive correlates, and everyday functioning impact of risky decision-making impairment in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Participants included 68 HIV+ individuals with HAND, 78 HIV+ individuals without HAND, and 51 HIV- comparison participants, who were administered the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) alongside a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and self-report measures assessing aspects of everyday functioning. HIV+ individuals with HAND performed more poorly on the IGT relative to the other two groups, most notably during the last three trial blocks. Within the HIV+ group, IGT performance during the last three trial blocks was most strongly associated with cognitive flexibility, but was not significantly related to declines in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), unemployment, or medication non-adherence. While overall IGT performance across the last three trial blocks may be helpful diagnostically in identifying decision-making impairment in HAND, examination of alternate, more specific metrics (e.g., individual deck selections across trial blocks) may be more useful in delineating the role of poor decision-making in HIV-related disability, and should be examined in future research.
HIV; cognitive impairment; decision-making; everyday functioning; cognitive flexibility
This study sought to determine the synergistic effects of age and HIV infection on medical co-morbidity burden, along with its clinical correlates and impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) across the lifespan in HIV. Participants included 262 individuals across four groups stratified by age (≤40 and ≥50 years) and HIV serostatus. Medical co-morbidity burden was assessed using a modified version of the Charlson Co-morbidity Index (CCI). Multiple regression accounting for potentially confounding demographic, psychiatric, and medical factors revealed an interaction between age and HIV infection on the CCI, with the highest medical co-morbidity burden in the older HIV+cohort. Nearly half of the older HIV+group had at least one major medical co-morbidity, with the most prevalent being diabetes (17.8%), syndromic neurocognitive impairment (15.4%), and malignancy (12.2%). Affective distress and detectable plasma viral load were significantly associated with the CCI in the younger and older HIV-infected groups, respectively. Greater co-morbidity burden was uniquely associated with lower physical HRQoL across the lifespan. These findings highlight the prevalence and clinical impact of co-morbidities in older HIV-infected adults and underscore the importance of early detection and treatment efforts that might enhance HIV disease outcomes.
HIV infection and older age are each independently associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and deficits in prospective memory (PM), which is a distinct aspect of cognition involving the ability to “remember to remember” to do something at a future occasion. The present study investigated associations between PM and HRQoL in 72 older (≥ 50 years) and 41 younger (≤ 40 years) HIV-infected adults. Self-reported PM complaints predicted HRQoL across the entire sample, but there was a significant interaction between performance-based PM and age group on HRQoL, such that lower time-based PM was associated with lower HRQoL only in the younger cohort. Within the younger group, time-based and self-reported PM significantly predicted mental HRQoL independent of other risk factors (e.g., depression). These findings suggest that PM plays a unique role in HRQoL outcomes among younger persons living with HIV infection and support the examination of other age-related factors (e.g., effective use of compensatory strategies) that may regulate the adverse impact of PM on everyday functioning.
AIDS Dementia Complex; Aging; Prospective memory; Quality of life; Functional status; Health status
Executive dysfunction remains among the most prevalent cognitive domains impaired in persons with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). However, little is known specifically about the cognitive architecture or everyday functioning implications of planning, which is an aspect of executive functions involving the identification, organization, and completion of sequential behaviors toward the accomplishment of a goal. The current study examined these issues using the Tower of LondonDX in 53 individuals with HAND, 109 HIV-infected persons without HAND, and 82 seronegative participants. The HAND+ group performed significantly more poorly than HIV-infected individuals without HAND on number of correct moves, total moves, execution time, time violations, and rule violations. Within the HIV+ group as a whole, greater total move scores and rule violations were most strongly associated with executive dysfunction. Of clinical relevance, elevated total moves and rule violations were significant, independent predictors of self-reported declines in instrumental activities of daily living and unemployment status in HIV. These results suggest that planning accuracy, efficiency, and rule-bound control are impaired in HAND, and may meaningfully affect more cognitively complex aspects of everyday living.
Planned behavior; executive functioning; employment status; activities of daily living; higher order processes
According to the multi-process theory of prospective memory (ProM), time-based tasks rely more heavily on strategic processes dependent on prefrontal systems than do event-based tasks. Given the prominent frontostriatal pathophysiology of HIV infection, one would expect HIV-infected individuals to demonstrate greater deficits in time-based versus event-based ProM. However, the two prior studies examining this question have produced variable results. We evaluated this hypothesis in 143 individuals with HIV infection and 43 demographically similar seronegative adults (HIV−) who completed the research version of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test, which yields parallel subscales of time- and event-based ProM. Results showed main effects of HIV serostatus and cue type, but no interaction between serostatus and cue. Planned pair-wise comparisons showed a significant effect of HIV on time-based ProM and a trend-level effect on event-based ProM that was driven primarily by the subset of participants with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Nevertheless, time-based ProM was more strongly correlated with measures of executive functions, attention/working memory, and verbal fluency in HIV-infected persons. Although HIV-associated deficits in time- and event-based ProM appear to be of comparable severity, the cognitive architecture of time-based ProM may be more strongly influenced by strategic monitoring and retrieval processes.
AIDS dementia complex; Episodic memory; Executive functions; Neuropsychological assessment