This study compares self-reported sexual behaviors from a retrospective survey and a prospective diary among Botswana Defence Force (BDF) personnel. One hundred sixty-one male participants, aged 18–30, completed two weekly prospective diaries and a retrospective survey querying them about behaviors reported during the same time frame as the diaries. Most reported behaviors were similar between the two data collection methods. However, there was low agreement for reporting sex with a spouse and exchanging material goods for sex with a casual partner; frequency of sex and condom use rates (CURs) among married participants also differed. When comparing survey condom use frequencies to diary CURs, the level of agreement diminished from the always to occasionally condom use categories. Inconsistencies in reporting may be due to the frequency of the sexual behavior, question sensitivity, the data collection setting, and the interpretation of response categories. Further research is needed to improve accurate reporting of sexual behaviors.
Multiple scientific disciplines require the isolation of specific subsets of blood cells from patient samples for gene expression analysis by microarray or RNA-sequencing, preserving disease- or treatment-related signatures. However, little is known with respect to the impact of different cell isolation methods on gene expression and the effects of positive selection, negative selection and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) have not previously been assessed in parallel. To address this knowledge gap, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, B cells and monocytes were isolated from blood samples from 5 independent donors using positive immunomagnetic selection, negative immunomagnetic selection and FACS. We hypothesized that positive selection and FACS would yield higher purity but may have an impact on gene expression since both methods utilize antibodies that bind surface receptors of the cell type of interest. Moreover, FACS might upregulate stress response genes due to passage of the cells through the sorter. Microarray gene expression data was generated and subjected to unsupervised clustering and differential gene expression analysis. Surprisingly, these analyses revealed that gene expression signatures were more similar between cells isolated by negative selection and FACS compared to cells isolated by positive selection. Moreover, genes that are involved in the response to stress generally had the highest expression in cells isolated by negative or positive selection and not FACS. Thus, FACS is the recommended method for isolation of leukocyte subsets for gene expression studies since this method results in the purest subset populations and does not appear to induce a stress response.
negative immunomagnetic selection; positive immunomagnetic selection; fluorescent activated cell sorting; CD4+ T cell; CD8+ T cell; B cell; monocyte; gene expression; microarray
Semi-parametric frailty models are widely used to analyze clustered survival data. In this paper, we propose the use of the hierarchical likelihood interval for individual frailties of the clusters, not the parameters of the frailty distribution. We study the relationship between hierarchical likelihood, empirical Bayesian, and fully Bayesian intervals for frailties. We show that our proposed interval can be interpreted as a frequentist confidence interval and Bayesian credible interval under a uniform prior. We also propose an adjustment of the proposed interval to avoid null intervals. Simulation studies show that the proposed interval preserves the nominal confidence level. The procedure is illustrated using data from a multicenter lung cancer clinical trial.
Empirical Bayes; Hierarchical likelihood; Interval estimator; Random effects; Survival analysis
Vancomycin dosing to achieve the area-under-the-curve to minimum inhibitory concentration (AUC/MIC) target of ≥ 400 in children with renal insufficiency is unknown. Our objectives were to compare vancomycin clearance (CL) and initial dosing in children with normal and impaired renal function.
Using a matched case-control study in subjects ≥ 3 months old who received vancomycin ≥ 48 hr, we performed population-based modeling with empiric Bayesian post-hoc individual parameter estimations and Monte Carlo simulations. Cases, defined by baseline serum creatinine (SCr) ≥ 0.9 mg/dL, were matched 1:1 to controls by age and weight.
Analysis included 63 matched pairs with 319 serum concentrations. Mean age (± SD) was 13 ± 6 yr and weight, 51 ± 25 kg. Mean baseline SCr was 0.6 ± 0.2 mg/dL for controls, and 1.3 ± 0.5 for cases. Age, SCr, and weight were independent covariates for CL. Final model parameters and inter-subject variability (ISV) were: CL(L/hr) = 0.235*Weight0.75*(0.64/SCr)0.497*(ln(DOL)/8.6)1.19 ISV=39%, where DOL is day of life. Target AUC/MIC ≥ 400 was achieved in 80% of cases at vancomycin 45 mg/kg/day, but required 60 mg/kg/day for controls. Drug CL improved in 87% of cases due to recovery of renal function.
Due to reduced CL, a less frequent dosing at 15 mg/kg every 8 hr (i.e., 45 mg/kg/day) may be appropriate for some children with renal impairment. Close monitoring of renal function and drug concentrations is prudent to ensure adequate drug exposure, especially in those with renal impairment since recovery of renal function may occur during therapy.
Vancomycin; Children; Pediatrics; Renal disease; Renal insufficiency; Antibiotic; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); Staphylococcus aureus; Antibiotic resistance; Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic; Population-based pharmacokinetic modeling; Monte Carlo simulation; Area-under-the curve
HIV has multiple genetic clades with varying prevalence throughout the world. Both HIV-clade C (HIV-C) and HIV-clade B (HIV-B) can cause cognitive impairment but it is unclear if these clades are characterized by similar patterns of brain dysfunction. We examined brain volumetrics and neuropsychological performance among highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) naïve HIV-B and HIV-C participants.
Thirty-four HAART-naïve HIV-infected (HIV+) participants [(17 HIV-B (United States); 17 HIV-C (South Africa)] and 34 age and education-matched HIV-uninfected (HIV−) participants were evaluated.
All participants underwent similar laboratory, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging studies. Brain volume measures were assessed within the caudate, putamen, amygdala, thalamus, hippocampus, corpus callosum and cortical (grey and white matter) structures. A linear model that included HIV status, region, and their interaction assessed the effects of the virus on brain volumetrics.
HIV− and HIV+ individuals were similar in age. On laboratory examination, HIV-C participants had lower CD4 cell counts and higher plasma HIV viral loads than HIV-B individuals. In general, HIV+ participants performed significantly worse on neuropsychological measures of processing speed and memory and had significantly smaller relative volumetrics within the thalamus, hippocampus, and corpus callosum and cortical grey and white matter compared to respective HIV− controls. Both HIV-clades B and C are associated with similar volumetric declines when compared to matched HIV− controls.
HIV-B and C were associated with significant reductions in brain volumetrics and poorer neuropsychological performance; however, no specific effect of HIV clade subtype was evident. These findings suggest that HIV-B and HIV-C both detrimentally affect brain integrity.
HIV clade; brain volumetrics; magnetic resonance imaging; neuropsychological performance
Free condoms provided by the government are often not used by Botswana Defence Force (BDF) personnel due to a perceived unpleasant scent and unattractive wrapper. Formative work with the BDF found that scented condoms and military inspired (camouflage) wrapper graphics were appealing to personnel. A non-randomized intervention study was implemented to determine if condom wrapper graphics and scent improved condom use in the BDF. Four military sites were selected for participation. Two sites in the south received the intervention condom wrapped in a generic wrapper and two sites in the north received the intervention condom wrapped in a military inspired wrapper; intervention condoms were either scented or unscented. 211 male soldiers who ever had sex, aged 18–30 years, and stationed at one of the selected sites consented to participate. Sexual activity and condom use were measured pre- and post-intervention using sexual behavior diaries. A condom use rate (CUR; frequency of protected sex divided by total frequency of sex) was computed for each participant. Mean CURs significantly increased over time (85.7% baseline vs. 94.5% post-intervention). Adjusted odds of condom use over time were higher among participants who received the intervention condom packaged in the military wrapper compared with the generic wrapper. Adjusted odds of condom use were also higher for participants who reported using scented versus unscented condoms. Providing scented condoms and condoms packaged in a miltiary inspired wrapper may help increase condom use and reduce HIV infection among military personnel.
HIV; sexual behaviors; condom use; military; HIV prevention intervention
Despite evidence supporting antiretroviral therapy (ART) in recent HIV infection, little is known about factors that are associated with successful ART. We assessed demographic, virologic, and immunologic parameters to identify predictors of virologic response.
A 24-week observational study of ART on persons enrolled within 6 months of their estimated date of infection (EDI) evaluated baseline demographics and the collection of blood and gut specimens.
Flow cytometry analyses of blood and gut lymphocytes allowed characterization of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells at study entry and end. Additional assessments included soluble CD14 (sCD14), lipopolysaccharide, CD4+ T-cell counts, and HIV RNA levels.
Twenty nine participants initiated ART, and 17 achieved undetectable HIV RNA by study end. A longer time from EDI to ART, older age, higher sCD14, lower proportions of central memory CD4+ T cells, and higher proportions of activated CD8+ T cells were associated with detectable viremia. Multivariable logistic regression found only older age and elevated sCD14 were independently associated with persistent viremia. Additionally, we observed that ART in recent infection did not result in discernible recovery of CD4+ T cells in the gut.
In persons who started ART within 3–33 weeks from EDI, age and microbial translocation were associated with detectable HIV RNA. As observed in other cohorts, ART in recent infection did not improve proportions of total CD4+ T cells in gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). This lends support to further evaluate the use of more potent ART or regimens that protect the GALT in recent HIV infection.
antiretroviral therapy; gut-associated lymphoid tissue; microbial translocation; recent HIV; virologic response
Etravirine has high affinity for plasma drug-binding proteins, such as albumin and α1-acid glycoprotein, which limits the amount of unbound etravirine available to enter the CNS. The objective of this study was to compare total and unbound etravirine concentrations in CSF with plasma concentrations and the in vitro median inhibitory concentration (IC50) for wild-type HIV (0.9 ng/mL).
Total and bound etravirine concentrations were measured in 17 CSF and plasma pairs by isotope-dilution liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy, radioligand displacement and ultracentrifugation. Unbound etravirine concentrations were calculated from the bound fraction. The dynamic range of the assay was 7.8–2000 (plasma) and 0.78–200 (CSF) ng/mL.
Subjects were mostly middle-aged (median 43 years) white (78%) men (89%). All CSF etravirine concentrations were above the limit of quantification. Total and unbound median etravirine concentrations in CSF were 9.5 (IQR 6.4, 26.4) and 0.13 (IQR 0.08, 0.27) ng/mL, respectively. Etravirine was 96% (IQR 94.5, 97.2) protein bound in plasma and 98.4% (IQR 97.8, 98.8) in CSF. Total etravirine in CSF was 4.3% (IQR 3, 5.9) of total and 101% (IQR 76, 160) of unbound etravirine in plasma. There were no significant correlations between unbound etravirine concentrations and concentrations of albumin in plasma or CSF. Unbound etravirine concentrations in CSF did not reach the wild-type IC50 in any of the specimens.
Unbound etravirine may not achieve optimal concentrations to inhibit HIV replication in the CNS.
HIV; antiretroviral therapy; central nervous system; CNS; protein binding; CSF
Preventing HIV infection is a priority for militaries. HIV prevention research is needed to monitor existing programs, identify areas for modification, and develop new interventions. Correct and consistent condom use is highly effective against HIV. However, use among soldiers is lower than ideal. This study describes condom use behaviors and examines correlates of use in the Botswana Defence Force (BDF). Analyses were based on 211 male personnel, aged 18–30, who completed a cross-sectional survey that collected baseline data for an intervention study. Results showed that 51% of participants reported always using condoms, 35% used condoms most times, and 14% used condoms occasionally/never. Condom use varied by partner type and was typically higher with casual partners in comparison to regular partners. After adjustment for age and marital status, factors associated with lower condom use included excessive alcohol use, perception that using condoms reduce sexual pleasure, and having a trusted partner. However, higher levels of HIV knowledge and reports of being circumcised were protective against lower condom use. HIV interventions aimed at increasing condom use in the BDF should address condom perceptions, alcohol abuse, and issues of trust. Innovative ways to increase condom use in this population should also be explored.
HIV/AIDS; military populations; sexual behaviors; condom use
Resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) may provide insight into the neurophysiology of HIV and aging.
In this cross-sectional study, we used rs-fcMRI to investigate intra- and internetwork connectivity among 5 functional brain networks in 58 HIV-infected (HIV+) participants (44% receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy) and 53 HIV-uninfected (HIV−) controls. An analysis of covariance assessed the relationship among age, HIV laboratory markers, or degree of cognitive impairment and brain networks.
Individuals who were HIV+ had decreased rs-fcMRI intranetwork correlations in the default mode (DMN, p = 0.01), control (CON, p = 0.02), and salience (SAL, p = 0.02) networks, but showed no changes in the sensorimotor (SMN) or dorsal attention (DAN) network. Compared with HIV− controls, participants who were HIV+ had a significant loss of internetwork correlations between the DMN-DAN (p = 0.02), trending loss in DMN-SAL (p = 0.1) and CON-SMN (p = 0.1), and trending increase in CON-SAL (p = 0.1). Neither HIV markers (plasma HIV viral load or CD4+ cell count) nor degree of cognitive impairment correlated with rs-fcMRI measures. Aging correlated with a decrease in the magnitude of intranetwork functional connectivity within the DMN (p = 0.04) and SAL (p = 0.006) and with decreased magnitude of internetwork functional connectivity between DMN and SAL (p = 0.009) for both HIV+ and HIV− participants. No interaction was observed between HIV and aging.
HIV and aging may cause independent decreases in rs-fcMRI. HIV may lead to a baseline decrease in brain function similar to deterioration that occurs with aging.
Age, education, and gender are the most common covariates used to define normative standards against which neuropsychological (NP) performance is interpreted, but influences of other demographic factors have begun to be appreciated. In developing nations, urban versus rural residence may differentially affect numerous factors that could influence cognitive test performances, including quality of both formal and informal educational experiences and employment opportunities. Such disparities may necessitate corrections for urban/rural (U/R) status in NP norms. Prior investigations of the U/R effect on NP performance typically have been confounded by differences in educational attainment. We addressed in this by comparing the NP performance of large, Chinese urban (Yunnan Province, n =201) and rural (Anhui Province, n =141) cohorts of healthy adults, while controlling for other demographic differences. Although the groups did not differ in global NP scores, a more complex pattern was observed within specific NP ability domains and tests. Urban participants showed better performance in select measures of processing speed and executive functions, verbal fluency, and verbal learning. Self-reported daily use of academic skills was predictive of many U/R differences. Controlling for academic skill use abrogated most U/R differences but revealed rural advantages in select measures of visual reasoning and motor dexterity.
Cognitive science; Educational measurement; Minority groups; Population groups; Neuropsychological tests; Reference standards; Clinical research
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.
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 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
Sensorimotor inhibition, or the ability to filter out excessive or irrelevant information, theoretically supports a variety of higher-level cognitive functions. Impaired inhibition may be associated with increased impulsive and risky behavior in everyday life. Individuals infected with HIV frequently show impairment on tests of neurocognitive function, but sensorimotor inhibition in this population has not been studied and may be a contributor to the profile of HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND). 37 HIV-infected individuals (15 with HAND) and 48 non-infected comparison subjects were assessed for prepulse inhibition (PPI), an eyeblink startle paradigm measuring sensorimotor gating. Although HIV status alone was not associated with PPI deficits, HIV-positive participants meeting criteria for HAND showed impaired PPI compared to cognitively intact HIV-positive subjects. In HIV-positive subjects, PPI was correlated with working memory but was not associated with antiretroviral therapy or illness factors. In conclusion, sensorimotor disinhibition in HIV accompanies deficits in higher-order cognitive functions, though the causal direction of this relationship requires investigation. Subsequent research on the role of sensorimotor gating on decision-making and risk behaviors in HIV may be indicated.
sensorimotor gating; AIDS dementia complex; cognition; startle; working memory; impulsivity
Despite modern antiretroviral treatment, HIV-associated distal neuropathic pain (DNP) remains one of the most prevalent and debilitating complications of HIV disease. Neuropathic pain is often accompanied by depressed mood, and both pain and depression have been associated with decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL) well-being. The relative contribution of depression and pain to worse life quality has not been addressed, however, even though a better understanding might sharpen intervention strategies.
We used the Medical Outcomes Study HIV (MOS-HIV) Health Survey and the Beck Depression Inventory-II and linear regression models to investigate HRQOL well-being in HIV-infected patients with DNP (N=397) participating in an observational cohort study at six US sites (CNS HIV Antiretroviral Treatment Effects Research Study, CHARTER).
For this sample of patients with HIV DNP, severity of depressed mood was more highly correlated with HRQOL well-being than was pain intensity.
These results suggest that interventions to improve HRQOL well-being in individuals with HIV-associated DNP may need to address not only pain intensity, but mood state as well.
Quality of Life; Depression; HIV-Associated Distal Neuropathic Pain; Pain Intensity
It has been proposed that portal-systemic shunts be avoided in alcoholic cirrhotics because survival rate is allegedly lower in alcoholics than in nonalcoholics. We examined this issue in a randomized controlled trial.
211 unselected, consecutive patients with cirrhosis and bleeding esophageal varices were randomized to endoscopic sclerotherapy (EST) (n=106) or emergency portacaval shunt (EPCS) (105). Treatment was initiated within 8 hours. EST failure was treated by rescue PCS. 10-yr follow-up was 96%.
Results strongly favored EPCS over EST (p<0.001). Among EPCS patients, 83% were alcoholic and 17% nonalcoholic. Outcomes were (1) permanent control of bleeding 100% vs. 100%; (2) 5-yr survival 71% vs.78%; (3) encephalopathy 14% vs. 19%; (4) yearly charges $38,300 vs. $43,000.
EPCS results were similar in alcoholic and nonalcoholic cirrhotics. EPCS is an effective first line emergency treatment in all forms of cirrhosis, including alcoholic.
Cirrhosis; Bleeding esophageal varices; Emergency portacaval shunt; Endoscopic sclerotherapy; Alcoholic; Nonalcoholic
Neurocognitive impairment remains prevalent in HIV infected (HIV+) individuals despite highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). We assessed the impact of HIV, HAART, and aging using structural neuroimaging.
Seventy-eight participants (HIV− (n=26), HIV+ on stable HAART (HIV+/HAART+; n=26), HIV+ naive to HAART (HIV+/HAART−; n=26)) completed neuroimaging and neuropsychological testing. A subset of HIV+ subjects (n = 12) performed longitudinal assessments before and after initiating HAART. Neuropsychological tests evaluated memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function and a composite neuropsychological score was calculated based on normalized performances (NPZ-4). Volumetrics were evaluated for the amygdala, caudate, thalamus, hippocampus, putamen, corpus callosum, cerebral grey and white matter. A three-group one way analysis of variance assessed differences in neuroimaging and neuropsychological indices. Correlations were examined between NPZ-4 and volumetrics. Exploratory testing using a broken stick regression model evaluated self-reported duration of HIV infection on brain structure.
HIV+ individuals had significant reductions in brain volumetrics within select subcortical regions (amygdala, caudate, and corpus callosum) compared to HIV− participants. However, HAART did not affect brain structure as regional volumes were similar for HIV+/HAART− and HIV+/HAART+. No association existed between NPZ-4 and volumetrics. HIV and aging were independently associated with volumetric reductions. Exploratory analyses suggest caudate atrophy due to HIV slowly occurs after self-reported seroconversion.
HIV associated volumetric reductions within the amygdala, caudate, and corpus callosum occurs despite HAART. A gradual decline in caudate volume occurs after self-reported seroconversion. HIV and aging independently increase brain vulnerability. Additional longitudinal structural MRI studies, especially within older HIV+ participants, are required.
HIV; HAART; aging; brain volume
The present study aimed to examine if bilingualism affects executive functions and verbal fluency in Marathi and Hindi, two major languages in India, with a considerable cognate (e.g., activity is actividad in Spanish) overlap. A total of 174 native Marathi speakers from Pune, India, with varying levels of Hindi proficiency were administered tests of executive functioning and verbal performance in Marathi. A bilingualism index was generated using self-reported Hindi and Marathi proficiency. After controlling for demographic variables, the association between bilingualism and cognitive performance was examined. Degree of bilingualism predicted better performance on the switching (Color Trails-2) and inhibition (Stroop Color-Word) components of executive functioning; but not for the abstraction component (Halstead Category Test). In the verbal domain, bilingualism was more closely associated with noun generation (where the languages share many cognates) than verb generation (which are more disparate across these languages), as predicted. However, contrary to our hypothesis that the bilingualism “disadvantage” would be attenuated on noun generation, bilingualism was associated with an advantage on these measures. These findings suggest distinct patterns of bilingualism effects on cognition for this previously unexamined language pair, and that the rate of cognates may modulate the association between bilingualism and verbal performance on neuropsychological tests.
Multilingualism; Neuropsychological tests; India; Adult; Executive functions; Cognition
Estimates of the prevalence of lifetime suicidal ideation and attempt, and risks for new-onset suicidality, among HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals are not widely available in the era of modern combined antiretroviral treatment (cART).
Participants (n=1560) were evaluated with a comprehensive battery of tests that included the depression and substance use modules of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) as part of a large prospective cohort study at six U.S. academic medical centers. Participants with possible lifetime depression (n=981) were classified into five categories: 1) no thoughts of death or suicide (n=352); 2) thoughts of death (n=224); 3) thoughts of suicide (n=99); 4) made a suicide plan (n=102); and 5) attempted suicide (n=204).
Twenty-six percent (405/1560) of participants reported lifetime suicidal ideation and 13% (204/1560) reported lifetime suicide attempt. Participants who reported suicidal thoughts or plans, or attempted suicide, reported higher scores on the BDI-II (p<0.0001), and higher rates of current major depressive disorder (p=0.01), than those who did not. Attempters reported higher rates of lifetime substance abuse (p=0.02) and current use of psychotropic medications (p=0.01) than non-attempters.
Study assessments focused on lifetime, rather than current, suicide. Data was not collected on the timing of ideation or attempt, frequency, or nature of suicide attempt.
High rates of lifetime suicidal ideation and attempt, and the relationship of past report with current depressed mood, suggests that mood disruption is still prevalent in HIV. Findings emphasize the importance of properly diagnosing and treating psychiatric comorbidities among HIV persons in the cART era.
HIV; depression; suicide
While neuropsychological deficits are evident among methamphetamine (meth) addicts, they are often unrelated to meth exposure parameters such as lifetime consumption and length of abstinence. The notion that some meth users develop neuropsychological impairments while others with similar drug exposure do not, suggests that there may be individual differences in vulnerability to the neurotoxic effects of meth. One source of differential vulnerability could come from genotypic variability in metabolic clearance of meth, dependent on the activity of cytochrome P450-2D6 (CYP2D6). We compared neuropsychological performance in 52 individuals with a history of meth dependence according with their CYP2D6 phenotype. All were free of HIV or hepatitis C infection and did not meet dependence criteria for other substances. Extensive metabolizers showed worse overall neuropsychological performance and were three times as likely to be cognitively impaired as intermediate/poor metabolizers. Groups did not differ in their demographic or meth use characteristics, nor did they evidence differences in mood disorder or other substance use. This preliminary study is the first to suggest that efficient meth metabolism is associated with worse neurocognitive outcomes in humans, and implicates the products of oxidative metabolism of meth as a possible source of brain injury.
Substance abuse; CYP2D6; Polymorphisms; Neurotoxicity; Metabolism; Cognition
Role of mannose binding lectin (MBL) complement activation pathway, an arm of innate immunity in multiple sclerosis (MS) was evaluated by analyzing the expression of MBL, MBL-associated serine protease -2 (MASP-2), and functional MBL/MASP-2 mediated C4 cleavage (fMBL) in 87 plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from MS patients and non-MS controls. Median fMBL and MASP-2 plasma levels were higher in MS vs. non-MS cases. These associations remained in an analysis of subtypes of MS disease. These findings suggest a potential activation of MBL complement pathway in MS that may possibly alter the risk or progression of MS disease.
multiple sclerosis; mannose-binding lectin; innate immunity; plasma; cerebrospinal fluid
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and methamphetamine (METH) dependence are independently associated with neuronal dysfunction. The coupling between cerebral blood flow (CBF) and neuronal activity is the basis of many task-based functional neuroimaging techniques. We examined the interaction between HIV infection and a previous history of METH dependence on CBF within the lenticular nuclei (LN). Twenty-four HIV−/METH−, eight HIV−/METH+, 24 HIV+/METH−, and 15 HIV+/METH+ participants performed a finger tapping paradigm. A multiple regression analysis of covariance assessed associations and two-way interactions between CBF and HIV serostatus and/or previous history of METH dependence. HIV+ individuals had a trend towards a lower baseline CBF (−10%, p=0.07) and greater CBF changes for the functional task (+32%, p=0.01) than HIV− subjects. Individuals with a previous history of METH dependence had a lower baseline CBF (–16%, p= 0.007) and greater CBF changes for a functional task (+33%, p=0.02). However, no interaction existed between HIV serostatus and previous history of METH dependence for either baseline CBF (p=0.53) or CBF changes for a functional task (p=0.10). In addition, CBF and volume in the LN were not correlated. A possible additive relationship could exist between HIV infection and a history of METH dependence on CBF with a previous history of METH dependence having a larger contribution. Abnormalities in CBF could serve as a surrogate measure for assessing the chronic effects of HIV and previous METH dependence on brain function.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Methamphetamine; Cerebral blood flow; Lenticular nuclei; Highly active antiretroviral therapy
Memory and executive functioning are two important components of clinical neuropsychological (NP) practice and research. Multiple demographic factors are known to affect performance differentially on most NP tests, but adequate normative corrections, inclusive of race/ethnicity, are not available for many widely used instruments. This study compared demographic contributions for widely used tests of verbal and visual learning and memory (Brief Visual Memory Test-Revised, Hopkins Verbal Memory Test-Revised), and executive functioning (Stroop Color and Word Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test-64) in groups of healthy Caucasians (n = 143) and African-Americans (n = 103). Demographic factors of age, education, gender, and race/ethnicity were found to be significant factors on some indices of all four tests. The magnitude of demographic contributions (especially age) was greater for African-Americans than Caucasians on most measures. New, demographically corrected T-score formulas were calculated for each race/ethnicity. The rates of NP impairment using previously published normative standards significantly overestimated NP impairment in African-Americans. Utilizing the new demographic corrections developed and presented herein, NP impairment rates were comparable between the two race/ethnicities and unrelated to the other demographic characteristics (age, education, gender) in either race/ethnicity group. Findings support the need to consider extended demographic contributions to neuropsychological test performance in clinical and research settings.
Assessing medication adherence in already difficult-to-treat HIV-infected subpopulations presents a unique challenge. The objective of this study was to compare different approaches to assessing medication adherence: (1) electronic medication monitoring, (2) standardized self-report questionnaire, and (3) self-report visual analogue scale, and to determine whether antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence measures differed for HIV-infected persons with bipolar disorder (HIV+ /BD+) as compared to HIV-infected persons without bipolar disorder (HIV+ /BD−). ART adherence was assessed for 74 HIV-positive participants using the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS), AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) adherence questionnaire, and visual analogue scale (VAS). Participants were classified as adherent or nonadherent on each measure by previously validated cutscores. Correlations and logistic regressions were used to examine associations between adherence measures and demographic and clinical variables. In the HIV+ /BD− group, significant correlations existed between each self-report measure and the MEMS. Males comprised 81% of the study population. Participants averaged 44 years of age and 13 years of education. No significant correlations were found among adherence measures in the HIV+ /BD+ group. Among participants reporting adherence on either self-report measure but classified as nonadherent based on MEMS, 94% had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder was a significant predictor of adherence classification discordance among self-report measures. Our findings suggest that it remains difficult to assess ART adherence among HIV-positive individuals with bipolar disorder. Combined approaches of self-report and objective measures may be the best way to estimate adherence, and may provide the best basis for interventions designed to improve adherence in difficult-to-treat populations.