Mental Rotation of Hands in HIV Infection: Neuropsychological Evidence of Dysfunction in Fronto-Striato-Parietal Networks

Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.
The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (Impact Factor: 2.82). 02/2010; 22(1):115-22. DOI: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.22.1.115
Source: PubMed


Mental rotation, the ability to manipulate three-dimensional objects in space, is a widely studied and neurally complex aspect of spatial cognition that has been largely ignored in the HIV literature. The authors report evidence of a significant interaction between HIV serostatus and performance on mental rotation tasks, whereby individuals with HIV (n=19) committed a greater number of errors than demographically similar seronegative persons (n=15) on Luria's hand rotation task (d=0.74, p<0.05), but not on the corresponding parallelogram rotation task (p>0.10). Hand rotation errors were associated with worse performance on measures of executive functions and working memory, but not with measures of visuoperception. Considered in the context of the preferential frontostriatal neuropathology of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, these preliminary findings suggest that the observed deficit in the mental rotation of hands may arise from a disrupted fronto-striato-parietal network.

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Available from: Steven Paul Woods, Dec 27, 2013
    • "Our study demonstrated that HIV-infected children have a mean IQ of 96 which was in the average range (the mean IQ of control group was 103) and this finding is similar to other studies.[2122] However, they performed poorly on several neuropsychological measures such as attention,[23] language,[24] verbal learning and memory,[25] visuomotor functions,[26] fine motor performance,[27] and executive functions[1928] when compared with control group. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural substrates of mental rotation in 11 individuals with HIV infection and 13 demographically similar HIV seronegative volunteers. Individuals with HIV showed increased brain response to mental rotation in prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices, striatum, and thalamus, with significant HIV by angle interactions emerging in the prefrontal cortex and caudate. Results indicate that HIV infection is associated with altered brain response to mental rotation in fronto-striato-parietal pathways, which may reflect compensatory strategies, recruitment of additional brain regions, and/or increased neuroenergetic demands during mental rotation needed to offset underlying HIV-associated neural injury.
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    ABSTRACT: The profile of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) has classically been characterized as "subcortical," but questions have arisen as to whether aging with HIV in the antiretroviral therapy era has subtly shifted the expression of HAND into a more "cortical" disorder (e.g., decay of semantic memory stores). We evaluated this hypothesis by examining semantic fluency and its component processes (i.e., clustering and switching) in 257 individuals across four groups stratified by age (<40 and ≥50 years) and HIV serostatus. Jonckheere-Terpstra tests revealed significant monotonic trends for the combined effects of HIV and aging on overall semantic (and letter) fluency and switching, but not cluster size, with greatest deficits evident in the older adults with HIV infection. Within the older HIV-infected cohort, poorer switching was uniquely associated with self-reported declines in instrumental activities of daily living and deficits in learning and executive functions, but not semantic memory. Results suggest that HIV infection and aging may confer adverse additive effects on the executive components of semantic fluency (i.e., switching), rather than a degradation of semantic memory stores (i.e., cluster size), which is a profile that is most consistent with combined frontostriatal neuropathological burden of these two conditions.
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