It is yet unclear if people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV+) on stable, combined antiretroviral therapies (cARTs) decline with age at the same or greater rate than healthy people. In this study, we examined independent and interactive effects of HIV, age, and HIV-related clinical parameters on neuropsychological functioning and brain regional volume in a sizable group of Polish HIV+ men receiving cART. We also estimated the impact of nadir CD4 cell count, CD4 cell count during participation in the study, duration of HIV infection, or duration of cART along with age. Ninety-one HIV+ and 95 control (HIV−) volunteers ages 23–75 completed a battery of neuropsychological tests, and 54 HIV+ and 62 HIV− of these volunteers participated in a brain imaging assessment. Regional brain volume in the cortical and subcortical regions was measured using voxel-based morphometry. We have found that HIV and older age were independently related to lower attention, working memory, nonverbal fluency, and visuomotor dexterity. Older age but not HIV was associated with less volume in several cortical and subcortical brain regions. In the oldest HIV+ participants, age had a moderating effect on the relationship between the duration of cART and visuomotor performance, such as that older age decreased speed of visuomotor performance along with every year on cART. Such results may reflect the efficacy of cART in preventing HIV-associated brain damage. They also highlight the importance of monitoring neuropsychological functioning and brain structure in HIV+ patients. This is particularly important in older patients with long adherence to cART.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Brain volume
- CD4 cell count nadir
- Neuropsychological functioning