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Methamphetamine and cannabis are two widely used, and frequently co-used, substances with possibly opposing effects on the central nervous system. Evidence of neurocognitive deficits related to use is robust for methamphetamine and mixed for cannabis. Findings regarding their combined use are inconclusive. We aimed to compare neurocognitive performance in people with lifetime cannabis or methamphetamine use disorder diagnoses, or both, relative to people without substance use disorders.
423 (71.9% male, aged 44.6 ± 14.2 years) participants, stratified by presence or absence of lifetime methamphetamine (M−/M+) and/or cannabis (C−/C+) DSM-IV abuse/dependence, completed a comprehensive neuropsychological, substance use, and psychiatric assessment. Neurocognitive domain T-scores and impairment rates were examined using multiple linear and binomial regression, respectively, controlling for covariates that may impact cognition.
Globally, M+C+ performed worse than M−C− but better than M+C−. M+C+ outperformed M+C− on measures of verbal fluency, information processing speed, learning, memory, and working memory. M−C+ did not display lower performance than M−C− globally or on any domain measures, and M−C+ even performed better than M−C− on measures of learning, memory, and working memory.
Our findings are consistent with prior work showing that methamphetamine use confers risk for worse neurocognitive outcomes, and that cannabis use does not appear to exacerbate and may even reduce this risk. People with a history of cannabis use disorders performed similarly to our nonsubstance using comparison group and outperformed them in some domains. These findings warrant further investigation as to whether cannabis use may ameliorate methamphetamine neurotoxicity.
Emotional functioning is linked to HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment, yet research on this association among diverse people with HIV (PWH) is scant. We examined emotional health and its association with neurocognition in Hispanic and White PWH.
Participants included 107 Hispanic (41% primarily Spanish-speakers; 80% Mexican heritage/origin) and 216 White PWH (Overall age: M = 53.62, SD = 12.19; 86% male; 63% AIDS; 92% on antiretroviral therapy). Emotional health was assessed via the National Institute of Health Toolbox (NIHTB)-Emotion Battery, which yields T-scores for three factor-based summary scores (negative affect, social satisfaction, and psychological well-being) and 13 individual component scales. Neurocognition was measured via demographically adjusted fluid cognition T-scores from the NIHTB-cognition battery.
27%–39% of the sample had problematic socioemotional summary scores. Hispanic PWH showed less loneliness, better social satisfaction, higher meaning and purpose, and better psychological well-being than Whites (ps <.05). Within Hispanics, Spanish-speakers showed better meaning and purpose, higher psychological well-being summary score, less anger hostility, but greater fear affect than English speakers. Only in Whites, worse negative affect (fear affect, perceived stress, and sadness) was associated with worse neurocognition (p <.05); and in both groups, worse social satisfaction (emotional support, friendship, and perceived rejection) was linked with worse neurocognition (p <.05).
Adverse emotional health is common among PWH, with subgroups of Hispanics showing relative strengths in some domains. Aspects of emotional health differentially relate to neurocogntition among PWH and cross-culturally. Understanding these varying associations is an important step towards the development of culturally relevant interventions that promote neurocognitive health among Hispanic PWH.
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.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: The knowledge acquired from my research can inform the development of early diagnostic methods for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: In the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) remains high but the neural mechanisms are unclear. We examined whether older people with HIV (PWH) with minimal cognitive impairment have reduced functional connectivity in frontostriatal circuits compared to controls. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: 99 PWH (mean age 56.6 years, 75% male, 62% Black, mean duration of HIV-infection 26.2 years ±9.3, 90% viral load <50 copies, 98% on stable cART) and 38 demographically-comparable controls (mean age 54.5 years, 71% male, 58% Black) participated in a cross-sectional study. A 7-domain neuropsychological battery and an Activities of Daily Living index were used to determine HAND diagnoses: 32 PWH met criteria for asymptomatic to mild HAND. Motor skill was assessed using the Grooved Pegboard Test by measuring performance speed. Structural MRI and resting-state functional MRI were collected. Seed-to-voxel analyses were conducted using 4 distinct regions in the striatum as seed regions. We used a voxel threshold of p<0.001 and cluster threshold of p<0.05 (FDR-corrected) after controlling for demographic variables. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Compared to controls, PWH had lower resting state functional connectivity between the default mode region of the striatum (i.e., medial caudate) and bilateral superior frontal gyrus, supplementary motor cortex and paracingulate gyrus (p<0.05; cluster size: 567 voxels). Also, compared to controls, PWH had reduced resting state functional connectivity between the motor division of the striatum (i.e., posterior putamen) and anterior cingulate cortex and left supplementary motor cortex (p<0.05, cluster size: 405 voxels). Performance speed on the Grooved Pegboard motor test negatively correlated with functional connectivity between the motor region of the striatum and supplementary motor frontal regions in all participants (Spearman’s rho=-0.18, p=0.04). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: Our results support the hypothesis that frontostriatal abnormalities are widely present in PWH and might play a key role in HAND development. Our data suggest that dysfunction within the frontostriatal circuits may be involved in motor impairment in PWH, and ongoing inflammation may contribute to motor impairment and frontostriatal injury.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: The history of immune suppression, especially CD4 nadir, has been shown to be a strong predictor of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). However, the potential mechanism of this association is not well understood. This study examined the relationship between CD4 nadir and brain atrophy. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Fifty-nine people with HIV participated in the cross-sectional study (mean age, 56.5 ± 5.8; age range, 41-69; 15 females; 46 African-Americans). High resolution structural MRI images were obtained using a 3T Siemens scanner. From a comprehensive 7-domain neuropsychological test battery, a global deficit score (GDS) and HAND diagnoses were determined for each participant. The correlation between CD4 nadir (the lowest ever lymphocyte CD4 count) and cortical thickness was investigated using a vertex-wise non-parametric approach with a conservative statistical threshold of p < 0.05 (FWE-corrected). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Out of the 59 participants, 12 met standard Frascati criteria for asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment (ANI) and two met the criteria for mild neurocognitive disorder (MND). Across all participants, low CD4 nadir was associated with widespread cortical thinning, especially in the frontal and temporal regions. Higher GDS (indicating worse global neurocognitive function) was associated with bilateral frontal cortical thinning, and the association largely persisted in the subset of participants who did not meet HAND criteria. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These results suggest that the low CD4 nadir may be associated with widespread neural injury in the brain, especially in the frontal and temporal regions. This spatial profile might contribute to the prevalence/phenotypes of HAND in the cART era, such as the frequently observed deficits in the executive domain.
Frascati international research criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are controversial; some investigators have argued that Frascati criteria are too liberal, resulting in a high false positive rate. Meyer et al. recommended more conservative revisions to HAND criteria, including exploring other commonly used methodologies for neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV including the global deficit score (GDS). This study compares NCI classifications by Frascati, Meyer, and GDS methods, in relation to neuroimaging markers of brain integrity in HIV.
Two hundred forty-one people living with HIV (PLWH) without current substance use disorder or severe (confounding) comorbid conditions underwent comprehensive neurocognitive testing and brain structural magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Participants were classified using Frascati criteria versus Meyer criteria: concordant unimpaired [Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un)], concordant impaired [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Imp)], or discordant [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un)] which were impaired via Frascati criteria but unimpaired via Meyer criteria. To investigate the GDS versus Meyer criteria, the same groupings were utilized using GDS criteria instead of Frascati criteria.
When examining Frascati versus Meyer criteria, discordant Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter, greater sulcal cerebrospinal fluid volume, and greater evidence of neuroinflammation (i.e., choline) than concordant Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. GDS versus Meyer comparisons indicated that discordant GDS(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter and lower levels of energy metabolism (i.e., creatine) than concordant GDS(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. In both sets of analyses, the discordant group did not differ from the concordant impaired group on any neuroimaging measure.
The Meyer criteria failed to capture a substantial portion of PLWH with brain abnormalities. These findings support continued use of Frascati or GDS criteria to detect HIV-associated CNS dysfunction.
Objectives: Studies of neurocognitively elite older adults, termed SuperAgers, have identified clinical predictors and neurobiological indicators of resilience against age-related neurocognitive decline. Despite rising rates of older persons living with HIV (PLWH), SuperAging (SA) in PLWH remains undefined. We aimed to establish neuropsychological criteria for SA in PLWH and examined clinically relevant correlates of SA. Methods: 734 PLWH and 123 HIV-uninfected participants between 50 and 64 years of age underwent neuropsychological and neuromedical evaluations. SA was defined as demographically corrected (i.e., sex, race/ethnicity, education) global neurocognitive performance within normal range for 25-year-olds. Remaining participants were labeled cognitively normal (CN) or impaired (CI) based on actual age. Chi-square and analysis of variance tests examined HIV group differences on neurocognitive status and demographics. Within PLWH, neurocognitive status differences were tested on HIV disease characteristics, medical comorbidities, and everyday functioning. Multinomial logistic regression explored independent predictors of neurocognitive status. Results: Neurocognitive status rates and demographic characteristics differed between PLWH (SA=17%; CN=38%; CI=45%) and HIV-uninfected participants (SA=35%; CN=55%; CI=11%). In PLWH, neurocognitive groups were comparable on demographic and HIV disease characteristics. Younger age, higher verbal IQ, absence of diabetes, fewer depressive symptoms, and lifetime cannabis use disorder increased likelihood of SA. SA reported increased independence in everyday functioning, employment, and health-related quality of life than non-SA. Conclusions: Despite combined neurological risk of aging and HIV, youthful neurocognitive performance is possible for older PLWH. SA relates to improved real-world functioning and may be better explained by cognitive reserve and maintenance of cardiometabolic and mental health than HIV disease severity. Future research investigating biomarker and lifestyle (e.g., physical activity) correlates of SA may help identify modifiable neuroprotective factors against HIV-related neurobiological aging. (JINS, 2019, 25, 507–519)
HIV-associated cognitive impairments are prevalent, and are consistent with injury to both frontal cortical and subcortical regions of the brain. The current study aimed to assess the association of HIV infection with functional connections within the frontostriatal network, circuitry hypothesized to be highly vulnerable to HIV infection. Fifteen HIV-positive and 15 demographically matched control participants underwent 6 min of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI). Multivariate group comparisons of age-adjusted estimates of connectivity within the frontostriatal network were derived from BOLD data for dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), dorsal caudate and mediodorsal thalamic regions of interest. Whole-brain comparisons of group differences in frontostriatal connectivity were conducted, as were pairwise tests of connectivity associations with measures of global cognitive functioning and clinical and immunological characteristics (nadir and current CD4 count, duration of HIV infection, plasma HIV RNA). HIV – associated reductions in connectivity were observed between the DLPFC and the dorsal caudate, particularly in younger participants (<50 years, N=9). Seropositive participants also demonstrated reductions in dorsal caudate connectivity to frontal and parietal brain regions previously demonstrated to be functionally connected to the DLPFC. Cognitive impairment, but none of the assessed clinical/immunological variables, was also associated with reduced frontostriatal connectivity. In conclusion, our data indicate that HIV is associated with attenuated intrinsic frontostriatal connectivity. Intrinsic connectivity of this network may therefore serve as a marker of the deleterious effects of HIV infection on the brain, possibly via HIV-associated dopaminergic abnormalities. These findings warrant independent replication in larger studies. (JINS, 2015, 21, 1–11)
Script generation describes one's ability to produce complex, sequential action plans derived from mental representations of everyday activities. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on script generation performance. Sixty HIV+ individuals (48% of whom had HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders [HAND]) and 26 demographically comparable HIV- participants were administered a novel, standardized test of script generation, which required participants to verbally generate and organize the necessary steps for completing six daily activities. HAND participants evidenced significantly more total errors, intrusions, and script boundary errors compared to the HIV- sample, indicating difficulties inhibiting irrelevant actions and staying within the prescribed boundaries of scripts, but had adequate knowledge of the relevant actions required for each script. These findings are generally consistent with the executive dysfunction and slowing common in HAND and suggest that script generation may play a role in everyday functioning problems in HIV. (JINS, 2011, 17, 740–745)
The present study examined neuropsychological (NP) functioning and associated medical, neurological, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and psychiatric findings in 389 nondemented males infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Type 1 (HIV-1), and in 111 uninfected controls. Using a comprehensive NP test battery, we found increased rates of impairment at each successive stage of HIV infection. HIV-related NP impairment was generally mild, especially in the medically asymptomatic stage of infection, and most often affected attention, speed of information processing, and learning efficiency; this pattern is consistent with earliest involvement of subcortical or frontostriatal brain systems. NP impairment could not be explained on the bases of mood disturbance, recreational drug or alcohol use, or constitutional symptoms; by contrast, impairment in HIV-infected subjects was related to central brain atrophy on MRI, as well as to evidence of cellular immune activation and neurological abnormalities linked to the central nervous system. (JINS, 1995, 1, 231–251.)
In recent years, interest in the use of computerized neuropsychological (NP) assessment measures has increased. However, there are limited data regarding how performance on these measures relates to performance on more traditional, clinical instruments. In the present study, 82 HIV+ men, who were all believed on clinical grounds to have neurobehavioral impairment, completed a traditional NP battery (TNB) and the California Computerized Assessment Package (CalCAP, a collection of computerized reaction time tests). Summary scores based on a TNB, as well as those based on the CalCAP, demonstrated significant associations with both degree of immunosuppression (CD4 count) and detectable viral load in cerebrospinal fluid, but not with detectable viral load in plasma. Established norms on the TNB and CalCAP batteries resulted in classifying 57% and 49% of the HIV+ sample as impaired, respectively. When using the TNB as the “gold standard,” impairment classifications based on CalCAP summary scores exhibited a sensitivity of 68% and a specificity of 77%. Overall agreement on impairment classifications between batteries was low (kappa = .44). Data from this study suggest that traditional NP batteries and computerized reaction time tests do not measure the same thing, and are not interchangeable in examining HIV-related NP impairments. (JINS, 2003, 9, 64–71.)
The following is a correction for an error that occurred in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Vol. 6, No. 3. The error occurred in the article titled “Personality change disorder in children and adolescents following traumatic brain injury,” pp. 279–289, by Max et al. On page 285, under the subheading “Injury Factors,” beginning with the second sentence in the first paragraph, the statement should read:
Visual inspection of the distribution of PC relative to lowest post-resuscitation GCS scores revealed that a cut-off of lowest post-resuscitation GCS score of 4 or less versus more than 4 yielded a sensitivity for a diagnosis of persistent PC of 9/14 (64.3%), specificity of 18/23 (78.3%), and a positive predictive value of 0.64 (9.14).
A cut-off of duration of impaired consciousness of 100 hr or less versus more than 100 hr yielded a sensitivity for a diagnosis of persistent PC of 11/14 (78.6%), specificity of 20/23 (87.0%), and a positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.79 (11/14).