Effect of Aging and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection on Cognitive Abilities
Article first published online: 30 OCT 2012
© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 60, Issue 11, pages 2048–2055, November 2012
How to Cite
J Am Geriatr Soc 60:2048–2055, 2012.
- Issue published online: 13 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 30 OCT 2012
- human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
- antiretroviral therapy;
- neuropsychological examination
To explore the combined effects of aging and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on cognitive decay.
Cross-sectional, single-cohort study.
Institute of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.
One hundred fifty-three asymptomatic HIV-positive (HIV+) outpatients (20% aged ≥ 60) and an age- and education-matched control population of 39 HIV-negative individuals.
A neuropsychological investigation was conducted to compare four groups of participants classified on the basis of HIV serostatus and age (<60 vs ≥60). The effects of age and HIV infection on neuropsychological performance were analyzed using a two-by-two factorial analysis of variance. Demographic and clinical variables associated with neuropsychological performance were identified using linear regression analysis in the HIV+ population.
HIV infection and aging had significant negative effects on cognitive performance, but no significant interaction was observed between these two factors. Although older HIV+ participants had worse cognitive performance, they showed no distinct cognitive pattern from younger HIV+ participants. Moreover, younger HIV+ participants' performance on memory tasks was qualitatively and quantitatively comparable with that of older HIV− participants, despite the dramatic age difference.
Aging and HIV might be additive factors in the expression of cognitive decline. As the HIV+ population ages, routine neuropsychological examinations could help clinicians better understand and manage the expression of cognitive impairment.