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Relative sensitivity of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging to cognitive function among nondemented individuals infected with HIV

  • ROBERT H. PAUL (a1), THOMAS ERNST (a2), ADAM M. BRICKMAN (a3), CONSTANTIN T. YIANNOUTSOS (a4), DAVID F. TATE (a5), RONALD A. COHEN (a6) and BRADFORD A. NAVIA (a7)...

Abstract

In the present study, we examined the relationships among cognitive function, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) brain metabolite indices measured in the basal ganglia, and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the caudate nucleus and the putamen in the earliest stages of HIV-related cognitive involvement. Participants included 22 HIV-positive individuals and 20 HIV-negative individuals. HIV-positive individuals performed significantly more poorly than the HIV-negative individuals on several cognitive measures. In addition, the choline/creatine ratio was significantly higher and the N-acetyl aspartate/choline ratio was significantly lower among HIV patients. The caudate and putamen sizes were smaller among HIV-positive patients compared with controls; however, the differences did not reach statistical significance. Correlation analyses revealed associations between cognitive function and select MRS indices. In addition, caudate size was significantly correlated with performances on higher-order thinking tests whereas putamen size was significantly correlated with performances on motor tests. The results suggest that MRS differences are more pronounced than area size differences between seropositive and seronegative individuals in mild stages of HIV-related cognitive impairment. However, basal ganglia size remains an important contributor to cognitive status in this population. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine the evolution of these imaging correlates of HIV-cognitive impairment in HIV. (JINS, 2008, 14, 725–733.)

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert Paul, University of Missouri, St. Louis, Department of Psychology, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4400. E-mail: paulro@umsl.edu

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