Neurocognitive consequences of HIV in southern India: A preliminary study of clade C virus
The neurocognitive impact of the clade C viral strain of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has not been determined. The purpose of this study was to examine neurocognitive function in southern India among individuals with the clade C virus with advanced HIV. A battery of cognitive tasks sensitive to the effects of HIV on brain function was translated and administered in Tamil and Telegu, two widely spoken languages in southern India. A sample of 30 treatment-naïve HIV-positive individuals with a median CD4 cell count of 97, and 30 age and education matched healthy controls obtained from the same region of India, were included in the study. Results revealed significant differences on most cognitive tests, with lower performances obtained by the HIV-positive individuals. These results suggest that cognitive difficulties are present among individuals with the clade C virus in India, with as many as 56% of the patients with advanced HIV meeting the criterion for impairment in two cognitive domains. Additional study is needed to determine if clade C HIV infection is more or less prone to cause neurocognitive deficit than the clade B virus. Furthermore, the impact of antiretroviral therapy on neurocognitive dysfunction in clade C virual infection needs to be determined. (JINS, 2006, 12, 424–430.)(Received April 18 2005)
(Revised February 6 2006)
(Accepted February 6 2006)
Key Words: HIV; Clade C; Cognition; Dementia.
c1 Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr. Robert Paul, Transdisciplinary Research Group, Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906. E-mail: Rpaul@butler.edu