Substance use is a risk factor for neurocognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric distress in acute and early HIV infection.

Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.
Journal of NeuroVirology (Impact Factor: 3.32). 12/2012; DOI: 10.1007/s13365-012-0141-y
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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-naive adults with median duration of infection of 75 days relative to a sample 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, 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 fivefold 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, the 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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 'ecstasy') produces a neuro-inflammatory response in rats characterized by an increase in microglial activation and IL-1β levels. The integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is important in preserving the homeostasis of the brain and has been shown to be affected by neuro-inflammatory processes. We aimed to study the effect of a single dose of MDMA on the activity of metalloproteinases (MMPs), expression of extracellular matrix proteins, BBB leakage and the role of the ionotropic purinergic receptor P2X7 (P2X7R) in the changes induced by the drug. Adult male Dark Agouti rats were treated with MDMA (10 mg/kg, i.p.) and killed at several time-points in order to evaluate MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity in the hippocampus and laminin and collagen-IV expression and IgG extravasation in the dentate gyrus. Microglial activation, P2X7R expression and localization were also determined in the dentate gyrus. Separate groups were treated with MDMA and the P2X7R antagonists Brilliant Blue G (BBG; 50 mg/kg, i.p.) or A-438079 (30 mg/kg, i.p.). MDMA increased MMP-3 and MMP-9 activity, reduced laminin and collagen-IV expression and increased IgG immunoreactivity. In addition, MDMA increased microglial activation and P2X7R immunoreactivity in these cells. BBG suppressed the increase in MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity, prevented basal lamina degradation and IgG extravasation into the brain parenchyma. A-438079 also prevented the MDMA-induced reduction in laminin and collagen-IV immunoreactivity. These results indicate that MDMA alters BBB permeability through an early P2X7R-mediated event, which in turn leads to enhancement of MMP-9 and MMP-3 activity and degradation of extracellular matrix.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2014; 17(08):1-13. DOI:10.1017/S1461145714000145
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is essential in the maintenance of brain homeostasis both by preserving normal brain functioning and also by protecting the brain from exposure to a range of potentially harmful substances. This review presents some of the evidence of BBB disruption following exposure to the substituted amphetamines 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'ecstasy') and methamphetamine (METH), two drugs of abuse which are widely consumed recreationally by younger sectors of the population. Both MDMA and METH have been shown to produce disruption of the BBB as reflected by IgG extravasation and Evans Blue leakage. In particular, METH decreases the expression of basal lamina proteins associated with an increase in matrix metalloproteinase activity. These changes in BBB integrity appear to be related to MDMA-induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) JNK1/2. The consequences of the disruption in the BBB by these two drugs remain to be established, but there is evidence in the literature that, at least in the case of METH, increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity may be related to increased behavioural sensitization and reward perhaps because of the modification of the passage of the drug into the CNS. In addition, the high incidence of AIDS-related neurologic disease in METH users may also be related to increased entry into the brain of virally derived neurotoxic products.
    Neuropharmacology 03/2014; 87. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.02.015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite significant advances in the virologic management of HIV infection over the last two decades, effective treatments for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remain elusive. While pharmacological interventions have yielded some success in improving neurocognitive outcomes in HIV, there is a dearth of rigorous studies examining the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation for remediating HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment. This qualitative review summarizes and critiques the emerging literature on cognitive and behavioral treatments for HAND, which provides many reasons for optimism, but also has major limitations that underscore the scope of the work that lies ahead. Considering the notable real-world consequences of HAND, the development, validation, and clinical deployment of cognitive neurorehabilitation interventions tailored to the needs of persons living with HIV infection is a priority for clinical neuroAIDS investigators. In describing potential future directions for this endeavor, particular attention was paid to the application of cognitive neuropsychological principles in developing theory-driven approaches to managing HAND, improving everyday functioning, and enhancing HIV health outcomes.
    Neuropsychology Review 02/2013; 23(1). DOI:10.1007/s11065-013-9225-6