HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders remain common despite use of potent antiretroviral therapy (ART). Ongoing viral replication due to poor distribution of antivirals into the CNS may increase risk for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. This study's objective was to determine penetration of a commonly prescribed antiretroviral drug, efavirenz, into CSF.
CHARTER is an ongoing, North American, multicentre, observational study to determine the effects of ART on HIV-associated neurological disease. Single random plasma and CSF samples were drawn within 1 h of each other from subjects taking efavirenz between September 2003 and July 2007. Samples were assayed by HPLC or HPLC/mass spectrometry with detection limits of 39 ng/mL (plasma) and <0.1 ng/mL (CSF).
Eighty participants (age 44 ± 8 years; 79 ± 15 kg; 20 females) had samples drawn 12.5 ± 5.4 h post-dose. The median efavirenz concentrations after a median of 7 months [interquartile range (IQR) 2–17] of therapy were 2145 ng/mL in plasma (IQR 1384–4423) and 13.9 ng/mL in CSF (IQR 4.1–21.2). The CSF/plasma concentration ratio from paired samples drawn within 1 h of each other was 0.005 (IQR 0.0026–0.0076; n = 69). The CSF/IC50 ratio was 26 (IQR 8–41) using the published IC50 for wild-type HIV (0.51 ng/mL). Two CSF samples had concentrations below the efavirenz IC50 for wild-type HIV.
Efavirenz concentrations in the CSF are only 0.5% of plasma concentrations but exceed the wild-type IC50 in nearly all individuals. Since CSF drug concentrations reflect those in brain interstitial fluids, efavirenz reaches therapeutic concentrations in brain tissue.
CNS; pharmacology; non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
To provide updated estimates of the prevalence and clinical impact of human immunodeficiency virus−associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN) and neuropathic pain due to HIV-SN in the combination antiretroviral therapy (CART) era.
Prospective, cross-sectional analysis. Clinical correlates for HIV-SN and neuropathic pain, including age, exposure to CART, CD4 levels, plasma viral load, hepatitis C virus infection, and alcohol use disorders, were evaluated in univariate and multivariate models.
Six US academic medical centers.
One thousand five hundred thirty-nine HIV-infected individuals enrolled in the CNS (Central Nervous System) HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy Effects Research study.
Main Outcome Measures
The presence of HIV-SN, defined by 1 or more clinical signs (diminished vibration or sharp sensation in the legs and feet; reduced ankle reflexes) in a distal, symmetrical pattern. Neuropathic pain was defined as aching, stabbing, or burning in a similar distribution. The effect on quality of life was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study HIV Health Survey.
We found HIV-SN in 881 participants. Of these, 38.0% reported neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain was significantly associated with disability in daily activities, unemployment, and reduced quality of life. Risk factors for HIV-SN after adjustment were advancing age (odds ratio, 2.1 [95%confidence interval, 1.8–2.5] per 10 years), lower CD4 nadir (1.2 [1.1–1.2] per 100-cell decrease), current CART use (1.6 [1.3–2.8]), and past “D-drug” use (specific dideoxynucleoside analogue antiretrovirals) (2.0 [1.3–2.6]). Risk factors for neuropathic pain were past D-drug use and higher CD4 nadir.
Neuropathic pain and HIV-SN remain prevalent, causing substantial disability and reduced quality of life even with successful CART. The clinical correlates of HIV-SN have changed with the evolution of treatment. These findings argue for redoubled efforts to determine HIV-SN pathogenesis and the development of symptomatic and neuroregenerative therapies.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a serious problem among those co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus; however, its impact in the central nervous system (CNS) remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms underlying HCV core protein-mediated neurodegeneration. Analysis of human HCV seropositive cases demonstrated widespread damage to neuronal dendritic processes and sustained activation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK); analogous pathologies were observed in wild type injected with HCV core protein into the hippocampus. In vitro analysis in neuronal cells exposed to HCV core demonstrated retraction of the neuronal processes in an ERK/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3)-dependent manner dependent on toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) signaling activation. These results indicate that HCV core protein neurotoxicity may be mediated by the sustained activation of ERK/STAT3 via TLR2-IRAK1 signaling pathway. These pathways provide novel targets for development of neuroprotective treatments for HCV involvement of the CNS.
HCV; TLR2; Neurodegeneration; ERK
The acute and early stages of HIV infection (AEH) are characterized by substantial viral replication, immune activation, and alterations in brain metabolism. However, little is known about the prevalence and predictors of neurocognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric disturbances during this period. The present study examined the impact of demographic, HIV disease, and substance use factors on HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment and self-reported neuropsychiatric distress among 46 antiretroviral-naïve adults with median duration of infection of 75 days, relative to sample a of 21 HIV seronegative (HIV-) adults with comparable demographics and risk factors. Participants were administered a brief neurocognitive battery that was adjusted for demographics and assessed executive functions, memory, psychomotor speed, and verbal fluency, as well as the Profile of Mood States (POMS), a self-report measure of neuropsychiatric distress. Odds ratios revealed that AEH participants were nearly four times more likely than their seronegative counterparts to experience neurocognitive impairment, particularly in the areas of learning and information processing speed. Similarly, AEH was associated with a nearly five-fold increase in the odds of neuropsychiatric distress, most notably in anxiety and depression. Within the AEH sample, HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment was associated with problematic methamphetamine use and higher plasma HIV RNA levels, whereas neuropsychiatric distress was solely associated with high-risk alcohol use. Extending prior neuroimaging findings, results from this study indicate that HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric distress are highly prevalent during AEH and are associated with high-risk substance use.
HIV; substance abuse; viral load; neuropsychiatry; 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
Using McDaniel & Einstein’s (2000) multi-process framework, the current study examined whether the length of prospective memory (PM) delay intervals as measured by the 2- and 15- minute subscales of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test (MIST) have differential predictive value for antiretroviral (ARV) adherence. Participants included 74 HIV-infected individuals whose ARV adherence was tracked with an electronic monitoring system. Participants were classified as “adherent” (n = 49) or “non-adherent” (n = 25) based on recorded pill bottle openings of ≥90% of prescribed doses over 30 days. An adherence group by MIST delay interval interaction was observed, such that non-adherent participants had worse performance on the 15-min, but not 2-min delay PM MIST subscales. The observed MIST 15- min delay effects were significantly more pronounced on time- versus event-cued PM trials. Long-delay time-based PM was predictive of non-adherence independent of demographics, mood state, self-reported adherence, and general cognitive functioning. Findings from this clinical study indicate that ARV non-adherence may be particularly associated with deficits in strategic cue monitoring over longer PM delays, which may inform interventions to improve adherence among persons living with HIV infection.
episodic memory; medication adherence; everyday functioning; neuropsychological assessment; executive functions; AIDS dementia complex
To conduct ananalysis of the stress, coping, and mood consequences of Alzheimer’s caregiving.
Sample included 125 Alzheimer’s caregivers and 60 demographically similar older adults with non-demented spouses (i.e., non-caregivers).
We compared caregivers and non-caregivers on stress, coping, and mood outcomes. We also examined anti-depressant use within the caregiver sample. An emphasis was placed upon effect size differences, including Cohen’s d as well as more clinically meaningful effect sizes.
Caregivers were significantly more likely to endorse depressive symptoms and to meet clinically significant cutoff for depression (40% for caregivers; 5% for non-caregivers). Approximately 25% of caregivers reported taking anti-depressant medication, although 69% of these continued to experience significant symptoms of depression. Caregivers also utilized fewer positive coping and greater negative coping strategies relative to non-caregivers.
The number of caregivers will increase dramatically over the next two decades, and caregivers will likely seek care from primary care providers. We provide an overview of the psychological issues facing caregivers so that effective screening and treatment may be recommended.
The HIV Dementia Scale (HDS) was developed to screen for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), but concerns have persisted regarding its substandard sensitivity. This study aimed to examine the classification accuracy of the HDS using raw and norm-based cutpoints, and to evaluate the contribution of the HDS subtests to predicting HAND.
1,580 HIV-infected participants from 6 U.S. sites completed the HDS, and a gold standard neuropsychological battery, on which 51% of participants were impaired. Results: Sensitivity and specificity to HAND using the standard raw HDS cutpoint were 24% and 92%, respectively. The raw HDS subtests of attention, recall, and psychomotor speed significantly contributed to classification of HAND, while visuomotor construction contributed the least. A modified raw cutpoint of 14 yielded sensitivity of 66% and specificity of 61%, with cross-validation. Using norms also significantly improved sensitivity to 69% with a concomitant reduction of specificity to 56%, while the positive predictive value declined from 75% to 62% and negative predictive value improved from 54% to 64%. The HDS showed similarly modest rates of sensitivity and specificity among subpopulations of individuals with minimal comorbidity and successful viral suppression.
Findings indicate that while the HDS is a statistically significant predictor of HAND, particularly when adjusted for demographic factors, its relatively low diagnostic classification accuracy continues to hinder its clinical utility. A raw cutpoint of 14 greatly improved the sensitivity of the previously established raw cutscore, but may be subject to ceiling effects, particularly on repeat assessments.
HIV; cognition; HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders; screening measures; HIV dementia scale
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.
Despite immune recovery in individuals on combination antiretroviral therapy (CART), the frequency of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HANDs) remains high. Immune recovery is typically achieved after initiation of ART from the nadir, or the lowest historical CD4. The present study evaluated the probability of neuropsychological impairment (NPI) and HAND as a function of CD4 nadir in an HIV-positive cohort.
One thousand five hundred and twenty-five HIV-positive participants enrolled in CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research, a multisite, observational study that completed comprehensive neurobehavioral and neuromedical evaluations, including a neurocognitive test battery covering seven cognitive domains. Among impaired individuals, HAND was diagnosed if NPI could not be attributed to comorbidities. CD4 nadir was obtained by self-report or observation. Potential modifiers of the relationship between CD4 nadir and HAND, including demographic and HIV disease characteristics, were assessed in univariate and multivariate analyses.
The median CD4 nadir (cells/μl) was 172, and 52% had NPI. Among impaired participants, 603 (75%) had HAND. Higher CD4 nadirs were associated with lower odds of NPI such that for every 5-unit increase in square-root CD4 nadir, the odds of NPI were reduced by 10%. In 589 virally suppressed participants on ART, higher CD4 nadir was associated with lower odds of NPI after adjusting for demographic and clinical factors.
As the risk of NPI was lowest in patients whose CD4 cell count was never allowed to fall to low levels before CART initiation, our findings suggest that initiation of CART as early as possible might reduce the risk of developing HAND, the most common source of NPI among HIV-infected individuals.
CD4 nadir; combination antiretroviral therapy; HIV-associated; neurocognitive disorders; neurocognitive impairment
The present study assesses the impact of methamphetamine (METH) on antiretroviral (ART) adherence among HIV+ persons, as well as examines the contribution of neurocognitive impairment and other neuropsychiatric factors (i.e., major depressive disorder (MDD), Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)) for ART nonadherence. We examined HIV+ persons with DSM-IV-diagnosed lifetime history of METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/METH+; n = 67) as compared to HIV+ participants with no history of METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/METH−; n = 50). Ancillary analyses compared these groups with a small group of HIV+/METH+ persons with current METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/CU METH+; n = 8). Nonadherence was defined as self-report of any skipped ART dose in the last four days. Neurocognitive functioning was assessed with a comprehensive battery, covering seven neuropsychological domains. Lifetime METH diagnosis was associated with higher rates of detectable levels of plasma and CSF HIV RNA. When combing groups (i.e., METH+ and METH− participants), univariate analyses indicated co-occurring ADHD, ASPD, and MDD predicted ART nonadherence (p’s<0.10; not lifetime METH status or neurocognitive impairment). A significant multivariable model including these variables indicated that only MDD uniquely predicted ART nonadherence after controlling for the other variables (p<0.05). Ancillary analyses indicated that current METH users (use within 30 days) were significantly less adherent (50% prevalence of nonadherence) than lifetime METH+ users and HIV+/METH-participants, and that neurocognitive impairment was associated with nonadherence (p’s<0.05). METH use disorders are associated with worse HIV disease outcomes and ART medication nonadherence. Interventions often target substance use behaviors alone to enhance antiretroviral treatment outcomes; however, in addition to targeting substance use behaviors, interventions to improve ART adherence may also need to address coexisting neuropsychiatric factors and cognitive impairment to improve ART medication taking.
HIV/AIDS; Cognition; Medication Adherence; Antiretroviral; Methamphetamine
The apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele enhances cerebral accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) and is a major risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We hypothesized that HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) would be associated with the APOE ε4 genotype and cerebral Aβ deposition.
Clinico-pathological study of HIV-infected adults from four prospective cohorts in the U.S. National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium.
We used multivariable logistic regressions to model outcomes (Aβ plaques [immunohistochemistry] and HAND [standard criteria]) on predictors (APOE ε4 [allelic discrimination assay], older age [≥ 50 years], Aβ plaques, and their two-way interactions) and co-morbid factors.
Isocortical Aβ deposits generally occurred as diffuse plaques and mild to moderate amyloid angiopathy. Isocortical phospho-Tau-immunoreactive neurofibrillary lesions were sparse. The APOE ε4 and older age were independently associated with the presence of Aβ plaques (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 10.16 and 5.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.89–35.76 and 1.91–17.48], P=0.0003 and 0.0019, respectively, n=96). The probability of HAND was increased in the presence of Aβ plaques among APOE ε4 carriers (adjusted OR 30.00 [95% CI 1.41–638.63], P=0.029, n=15), but not in non-ε4 carriers (n=57).
The APOE ε4 and older age increased the likelihood of cerebral Aβ plaque deposition in HIV-infected adults. Generally Aβ plaques in HIV brains were immunohistologically different from those in symptomatic AD brains. Nonetheless, Aβ plaques were associated with HAND among APOE ε4 carriers. The detection of APOE ε4 genotype and cerebral Aβ deposition biomarkers may be useful in identifying living HAND subjects who could benefit from Aβ-targeted therapies.
Apolipoprotein E; β-amyloid; HIV dementia; neurofibrillary pathology; phospho-Tau
Standard methods used to estimate HIV-1 population diversity are often resource intensive (e.g., single genome amplification, clonal amplification and pyrosequencing) and not well suited for large study cohorts. Additional approaches are needed to address the relationships between intraindividual HIV-1 genetic diversity and disease. With a small cohort of individuals, we validated three methods for measuring diversity: Shannon entropy and average pairwise distance (APD) using single genome sequences, and counts of mixed bases (i.e. ambiguous nucleotides) from population-based sequences. In a large cohort, we then used the mixed base approach to determine associations between measure HIV-1 diversity and HIV associated disease. Normalized counts of mixed bases correlated with Shannon Entropy at both the nucleotide (rho=0.72, p=0.002) and amino acid level (rho=0.59, p=0.015), and APD (rho=0.75, p=0.001). Among participants who underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments (n=187), increased HIV-1 population diversity was associated with both a diagnosis of AIDS and neuropsychological impairment.
HIV; AIDS; genetic diversity; neuropsychological impairment; viral population dynamics
The contribution of bipolar disorder (BD), a prevalent serious mental illness characterized by impulsivity and mood instability, to antiretroviral (ART) and psychiatric medication adherence among HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals is unknown. We examined medication adherence among 44 HIV+/BD+ persons as compared to 33 demographically- and medically-comparable HIV+/BD− persons. Classification of adherent (≥90%) or non-adherent (<90%) based on proportion of correctly taken doses over 30 days was determined using electronic medication monitoring devices. HIV+/BD+ persons were significantly less likely to be ART adherent (47.7%) as compared to HIV+/BD− (90.9%) persons. Within the HIV+/BD+ group, mean psychiatric medication adherence was significantly worse than ART medication adherence, although there was a significant correlation between ART and psychiatric adherence levels. Importantly, 30-day ART adherence was associated with plasma virologic response among HIV+/BD+ individuals. Given the high overlap of HIV and BD, and the observed medication adherence difficulties for these persons, specialized adherence improvement interventions are needed.
Medication Adherence; HIV/AIDS; Bipolar Disorder
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
HIV-seropositive individuals with low cognitive reserve are at high risk for developing HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). The present study evaluated the hypothesis that cognitive reserve would also play a unique role in the expression of everyday functioning complications among those with HAND (i.e., syndromic versus subsyndromic impairment). Eighty-six individuals with HIV infection were evaluated; 53 individuals evidenced normal neurocognitive performance, 16 had subsyndromic HAND (i.e., Asymptomatic Neurocognitive Impairment), and 17 were diagnosed with a syndromic HAND based on a comprehensive neurobehavioral evaluation. Cognitive reserve represented a combined score including years of education, estimated verbal IQ, and highest occupational attainment. The groups were comparable (e.g. demographics), and the HAND groups had similar rates of global neurocognitive impairment. The Syndromic HAND group evidenced lower reserve scores relative to both other groups, suggesting that HIV-infected individuals with high cognitive reserve more effectively counteract their neurocognitive impairment to maintain independence in daily living activities.
Cognitive reserve; HIV/AIDS; activities of daily living; neuropsychological assessment
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
To determine whether HIV infection and aging act synergistically to disrupt everyday functioning.
Cross-sectional, factorial study of everyday functioning in the context of HIV serostatus and age (≤ 40 years vs ≥ 50 years).
103 HIV+ and 87 HIV− participants were administered several measures of everyday functioning, including self-report indices of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and instrumental and basic activities of daily living (IADLs and BADLs), and objective measures of functioning including employment and Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) ratings.
Significant interaction effects of HIV and aging were observed for IADL and BADL declines, as well as KPS ratings (ps<.05), independent of potentially confounding factors. Follow-up contrasts revealed significantly worse functioning in the older HIV+ group for all functional outcome measures relative to the other study groups (ps<.05). A significant interaction effect was also observed on the emotional functioning HRQoL subscale, and additive effects of both age and HIV were observed for the physical functioning and general health perceptions HRQoL subscales (ps<.05). Significant predictors of poorer functioning in the older HIV+ group included current major depressive disorder for all outcomes, and comorbid medical conditions, lower estimated premorbid functioning, neurocognitive impairment, and nadir CD4 count for selected outcomes.
Findings suggest that older age may exacerbate the adverse effects of HIV on daily functioning, which highlights the importance of evaluating and monitoring the functional status of older HIV-infected adults. Early detection of functional difficulties could facilitate delivery of compensatory strategies (e.g., cognitive remediation) or assistive services.
HIV; aging; assessment; daily functioning; health status; disability
While performance-based tests of everyday functioning offer promise in facilitating diagnosis and classification of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), there remains a dearth of well-validated instruments. In the present study, clinical correlates of performance on one such measure (i.e., Medication Management Test—Revised; MMT-R) were examined in 448 HIV+ adults who were prescribed antiretroviral therapy. Significant bivariate relationships were found between MMT-R scores and demographics (e.g., education), hepatitis C co-infection, estimated premorbid IQ, neuropsychological functioning, and practical work abilities. MMT-R scores were not related to HIV disease severity, psychiatric factors, or self-reported adherence among participants with a broad range of current health status. However, lower MMT-R scores were strongly and uniquely associated with poorer adherence among participants with CD4 T-cell counts <200. In multivariate analyses, MMT-R scores were predicted by practical work abilities, estimated premorbid functioning, attention/working memory, learning, and education. Findings provide overall mixed support for the construct validity of the MMT-R and are discussed in the context of their clinical and research implications for evaluation of HAND.
HIV; medication management; neuropsychological functioning; adherence; construct validity; instrumental activities of daily living
We aimed to investigate whether HIV latency in the CNS might have adverse molecular, pathologic, and clinical consequences.
This was a case-control comparison of HIV-1 seropositive (HIV+) patients with clinical and neuropathologic examination. Based on the levels of HIV-1 DNA, RNA, and p24 in the brain, cases were classified as controls, latent HIV CNS infection, and HIV encephalitis (HIVE). Analysis of epigenetic markers including BCL11B, neurodegeneration, and neuroinflammation was performed utilizing immunoblot, confocal microscopy, immunochemistry/image analysis, and qPCR. Detailed antemortem neurocognitive data were available for 23 out of the 32 cases.
HIV+ controls (n = 12) had no detectable HIV-1 DNA, RNA, or p24 in the CNS; latent HIV+ cases (n = 10) showed high levels of HIV-1 DNA but no HIV RNA or p24; and HIVE cases (n = 10) had high levels of HIV-1 DNA, RNA, and p24. Compared to HIV+ controls, the HIV+ latent cases displayed moderate cognitive impairment with neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory alterations, although to a lesser extent than HIVE cases. Remarkably, HIV+ latent cases showed higher levels of BCL11B and other chromatin modifiers involved in silencing. Increased BCL11B was associated with deregulation of proinflammatory genes like interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor–α, and CD74.
Persistence of latent HIV-1 infection in the CNS was associated with increased levels of chromatin modifiers, including BCL11B. Alteration of these epigenetic factors might result in abnormal transcriptomes, leading to inflammation, neurodegeneration, and neurocognitive impairment. BCL11B and other epigenetic factors involved in silencing might represent potential targets for HIV-1 involvement of the CNS.
This study examined whether satisfaction from leisure activities moderates the relationship between caregiving demands (i.e., hours per day spent caring for a spouse with dementia) and resting levels of the catecholamines norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (EPI). Spousal caregivers (N=107; mean age 73.95±8.12 years) were assessed in home for plasma levels of NE and EPI, amount of care provided, and leisure satisfaction. Regression was used to determine whether leisure satisfaction moderated the relationship between hours providing care per day and catecholamine levels. A significant interaction was found between hours caregiving and leisure satisfaction for NE, but not for EPI. Post hoc regressions were conducted for both NE and EPI. At low leisure satisfaction, time spent caring for a spouse was positively associated with plasma NE (β = .41; p = .005) and EPI (β = .44; p = .003). In contrast, at high levels of satisfaction, time caregiving was not significantly associated with plasma NE (β = −.08; p = .57) or EPI (β = .23; p = .12). These findings suggest that leisure satisfaction may protect caregivers from increases in catecholamines, which have been implicated in cardiovascular risk. Further support for these findings may impact psychological treatments for distressed caregivers.
leisure satisfaction; leisure activities; catecholamine; dementia caregiving; cardiovascular disease
The catechol-O-methyltransferease (COMT) Val allele has been linked to executive dysfunction among healthy individuals. The nature of this relationship is unknown in the context of HIV infection and/or methamphetamine (METH) dependence, two conditions that can alter dopaminergic system functioning. We sought to determine if the putative relationship between COMT and executive dysfunction could be observed among individuals with and without HIV-infection and/or METH dependence, and to explore the specificity of this relationship by examining other cognitive domains. Utilizing an existing cohort of 229 men with and without HIV infection and/or METH dependence we found that Met/Met carriers within the HIV-only and control groups, displayed better executive functioning compared to Val/Val and Val/Met carriers. However, this effect was attenuated in the METH-only and comorbid (ie, HIV+/METH+) groups. Examination of other neurocognitive domains were not consistent with effects found for executive functioning. Results support the presumed neuroprotective effect of Met/Met genotype on executive functioning among HIV-only and control groups. Among METH-only and comorbid groups, the slower rate of dopamine clearance conferred by the Met/Met genotype may increase the risk of adverse effects of METH, resulting in comparable executive dysfunction to that of Val allele carriers.
Val158Met; Endophenotype; Executive Function
Sestrin-2 is involved in p53-dependent antioxidant defenses and in the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis. We hypothesize that sestrin-2 expression is altered in the brains of subjects diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) due to neuronal oxidative stress. We studied sestrin-2 immunoreactivity in 42 isocortex sections from HIV-1-infected subjects compared to 18 age-matched non-HIV controls and 19 advanced Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases. With HIV infection, the sestrin-2 immunoreactivity pattern shifted from neuropil predominance (N) to neuropil and neuronal-soma co-dominance (NS) and neuronalsoma predominance (S; P < 0.0001, Chi-square test for linear trend). Among HIV cases showing the NS or S pattern, HAND cases were preferentially associated with the S pattern (n = 10 of 20) compared to cognitively intact cases (n = 1 of 11; P = 0.047, Fisher's exact test). In AD brains, sestrin-2 immunoreactivity was mostly intense in the neuropil and co-localized with phospho-Tau immunoreactivity in a subset of neurofibrillary lesions. Phospho-Tau-immunoreactive neurofibrillary lesions were rare in HIV cases and their occurrence was not associated with HAND. Levels of isocortical 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine (marker of nucleic acid oxidation) immunoreactivity were not significantly altered in HAND cases compared to cognitively intact HIV cases. In conclusion, the sestrin-2 immunoreactivity redistribution to neuronal soma in HAND suggests unique involvement of sestrin-2 in the pathophysiology of HAND, which is different from the role of sestrin-2 in AD pathogenesis. Alternatively, the difference in sestrin-2 immunoreactivity distribution between HAND and AD may be related to different degrees of severity or stages of oxidative stress.
Alzheimer's disease; HIV dementia; Neurofibrillary pathology; Oxidative stress; SESN2
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.
Neuropsychological disturbances have been reported in association with use of the recreational drug “ecstasy,” or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), but findings have been inconsistent. We performed comprehensive neuropsychological testing examining seven ability domains in 21 MDMA users (MDMA+) and 21 matched control participants (MDMA−). Among MDMA+ participants, median [interquartile range] lifetime MDMA use was 186 [111, 516] doses, with 120 [35–365] days of abstinence. There were no significant group differences in neuropsychological performance, with the exception of the motor speed/dexterity domain in which 43% of MDMA+ were impaired compared with 5% of MDMA− participants (p = .004). Motor impairment differences were not explained by use of other substances and were unrelated to length of abstinence or lifetime number of MDMA doses. Findings provide limited evidence for neuropsychological differences between MDMA+ and MDMA− participants with the exception of motor impairments observed in the MDMA+ group. However, replication of this finding in a larger sample is warranted.
Ecstasy; N-Methyl-3; 4-methylenedioxyamphetamine; Neurocognitive; Neurotoxicity; Stimulant; Hallucinogen