Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society



Verbal working memory in HIV-seropositive drug users


ROXANNA  FARINPOUR a1a2p1, EILEEN M.  MARTIN a1a3c1, MICHAEL  SEIDENBERG a2, DAVID L.  PITRAK a1a4, KENNETH J.  PURSELL a1a4, KATHLEEN M.  MULLANE a1a4, RICHARD M.  NOVAK a1a4 and MARTIN  HARROW a3
a1 VA Chicago Health Care System-West Side Division, Chicago, Illinois
a2 Department of Psychology, Finch University of the Health Sciences, North Chicago, Illinois
a3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
a4 Department of Medicine–Section of Infectious Diseases, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that HIV-seropositive drug users are impaired on tasks of visuospatial working memory compared with drug users seronegative for HIV. In the current study we evaluated the performance of 30 HIV-seropositive male drug users and 30 risk-matched seronegative controls on two measures of verbal working memory, the Listening Span and the verbal Self Ordered Pointing Task. Impaired working memory performance was significantly more common among HIV-seropositive persons compared to controls, with the highest incidence of deficit among symptomatic participants. These findings indicate that working memory deficits in persons with HIV are not domain-specific and can be demonstrated reliably in drug users. (JINS, 2000, 6, 548–555.)

(Received May 5 1999)
(Revised July 19 1999)
(Accepted July 20 1999)


Key Words: HIV; Working memory; Drug abuse; Dementia; AIDS; Neuropsychological tests; Cognition.

Correspondence:
c1 Reprint requests to: Eileen M. Martin, Department of Psychiatry (M/C 913), University of Illinois, 912 S. Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail: EMartin@psych.uic.edu
p1 Now at the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles, California