Functional Consequences of HIV-Associated Neuropsychological Impairment

Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.
Neuropsychology Review (Impact Factor: 5.4). 07/2009; 19(2):186-203. DOI: 10.1007/s11065-009-9095-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This review focuses on the "real world" implications of infection with HIV/AIDS from a neuropsychological perspective. Relevant literature is reviewed which examines the relationships between HIV-associated neuropsychological impairment and employment, driving, medication adherence, mood, fatigue, and interpersonal functioning. Specifically, the relative contributions of medical, cognitive, psychosocial, and psychiatric issues on whether someone with HIV/AIDS will be able to return to work, adhere to a complicated medication regimen, or safely drive a vehicle will be discussed. Methodological issues that arise in the context of measuring medication adherence or driving capacity are also explored. Finally, the impact of HIV/AIDS on mood state, fatigue, and interpersonal relationships are addressed, with particular emphasis on how these variables interact with cognition and independent functioning. The purpose of this review is to integrate neuropsychological findings with their real world correlates of functional behavior in the HIV/AIDS population.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective We used demographic and clinical data to design practical classification models for prediction of neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in people with HIV infection. Methods The study population comprised 331 HIV-infected patients with available demographic, clinical, and neurocognitive data collected using a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. Classification and regression trees (CART) were developed to obtain detailed and reliable models to predict NCI. Following a practical clinical approach, NCI was considered the main variable for study outcomes, and analyses were performed separately in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients. Results The study sample comprised 52 treatment-naïve and 279 experienced patients. In the first group, the variables identified as better predictors of NCI were CD4 cell count and age (correct classification [CC]: 79.6%, 3 final nodes). In treatment-experienced patients, the variables most closely related to NCI were years of education, nadir CD4 cell count, central nervous system penetration-effectiveness score, age, employment status, and confounding comorbidities (CC: 82.1%, 7 final nodes). In patients with an undetectable viral load and no comorbidities, we obtained a fairly accurate model in which the main variables were nadir CD4 cell count, current CD4 cell count, time on current treatment, and past highest viral load (CC: 88%, 6 final nodes). Conclusion Practical classification models to predict NCI in HIV infection can be obtained using demographic and clinical variables. An approach based on CART analyses may facilitate screening for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and complement clinical information about risk and protective factors for NCI in HIV-infected patients.
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