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To determine the reliability of teleneuropsychological (TNP) compared to in-person assessments (IPA) in people with HIV (PWH) and without HIV (HIV−).
Participants included 80 PWH (Mage = 58.7, SDage = 11.0) and 23 HIV− (Mage = 61.9, SDage = 16.7). Participants completed two comprehensive neuropsychological IPA before one TNP during the COVID-19 pandemic (March–December 2020). The neuropsychological tests included: Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R Total and Delayed Recall), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT; FAS-English or PMR-Spanish), Animal Fluency, Action (Verb) Fluency, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3rd Edition (WAIS-III) Symbol Search and Letter Number Sequencing, Stroop Color and Word Test, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (Channel 1), and Boston Naming Test. Total raw scores and sub-scores were used in analyses. In the total sample and by HIV status, test-retest reliability and performance-level differences were evaluated between the two consecutive IPA (i.e., IPA1 and IPA2), and mean in-person scores (IPA-M), and TNP.
There were statistically significant test-retest correlations between IPA1 and IPA2 (r or ρ = .603–.883, ps < .001), and between IPA-M and TNP (r or ρ = .622–.958, ps < .001). In the total sample, significantly lower test-retest scores were found between IPA-M and TNP on the COWAT (PMR), Stroop Color and Word Test, WAIS-III Letter Number Sequencing, and HVLT-R Total Recall (ps < .05). Results were similar in PWH only.
This study demonstrates reliability of TNP in PWH and HIV−. TNP assessments are a promising way to improve access to traditional neuropsychological services and maintain ongoing clinical research studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent cannabis exposure has been associated with lower rates of neurocognitive impairment in people with HIV (PWH). Cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties may underlie this relationship by reducing chronic neuroinflammation in PWH. This study examined relations between cannabis use and inflammatory biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma, and cognitive correlates of these biomarkers within a community-based sample of PWH.
263 individuals were categorized into four groups: HIV− non-cannabis users (n = 65), HIV+ non-cannabis users (n = 105), HIV+ moderate cannabis users (n = 62), and HIV+ daily cannabis users (n = 31). Differences in pro-inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6, MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10/CXCL10, sCD14, sTNFR-II, TNF-α) by study group were determined by Kruskal–Wallis tests. Multivariable linear regressions examined relationships between biomarkers and seven cognitive domains, adjusting for age, sex/gender, race, education, and current CD4 count.
HIV+ daily cannabis users showed lower MCP-1 and IP-10 levels in CSF compared to HIV+ non-cannabis users (p = .015; p = .039) and were similar to HIV− non-cannabis users. Plasma biomarkers showed no differences by cannabis use. Among PWH, lower CSF MCP-1 and lower CSF IP-10 were associated with better learning performance (all ps < .05).
Current daily cannabis use was associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines implicated in HIV pathogenesis and these chemokines were linked to the cognitive domain of learning which is commonly impaired in PWH. Cannabinoid-related reductions of MCP-1 and IP-10, if confirmed, suggest a role for medicinal cannabis in the mitigation of persistent inflammation and cognitive impacts of HIV.
Frailty is associated with cognitive decline in older adults. However, the mechanisms explaining this relationship are poorly understood. We hypothesized that sleep quality may mediate the relationship between frailty and cognition.
154 participants aged between 50-90 years (mean = 69.1 years, SD = 9.2 years) from the McKnight Brain Registry were included.
Participants underwent a full neuropsychological evaluation, frailty and subjective sleep quality assessments. Direct relationships between frailty and cognitive function were assessed using linear regression models. Statistical mediation of these relationships by sleep quality was assessed using nonparametric bootstrapping procedures.
Frailty severity predicted weaker executive function (B = −2.77, β = −0.30, 95% CI = −4.05 – −1.29) and processing speed (B = −1.57, β = −0.17, 95% CI = −3.10 – −0.16). Poor sleep quality predicted poorer executive function (B = −0.47, β = −0.21, 95% CI = −0.79 – −0.08), processing speed (B = −0.64, β = −0.28, 95% CI = −0.98 – −0.31), learning (B = −0.42, β = −0.19, 95% CI = −0.76 – −0.05) and delayed recall (B = −0.41, β = −0.16, 95% CI = −0.80 – −0.31). Poor sleep quality mediated the relationships between frailty severity and executive function (B = −0.66, β = −0.07, 95% CI = −1.48 – −0.39), learning (B = −0.85, β = −0.07, 95% CI = −1.85 – −0.12), delayed recall (B = −0.47, β = −0.08, 95% CI = −2.12 – −0.39) and processing speed (B = −0.90, β = −0.09, 95% CI = −1.85 – −0.20).
Relationships between frailty severity and several cognitive outcomes were significantly mediated by poor sleep quality. Interventions to improve sleep quality may be promising avenues to prevent cognitive decline in frail older adults.
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