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Neurocognitive deficits in HIV-infected women and victims of childhood trauma

Spies G. ; Fennema-Notestine C. ; Archibald S.L. ; Cherner M. ; Seedat S. (2012)


The study investigated the behavioral and brain effects of childhood trauma and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, both separately and in combination, and assessed potential interactions in women who were dually affected. Eighty-three HIV-positive and 47 matched HIV-negative South African women underwent neuromedical, neuropsychiatric, and neurocognitive assessments. Univariate tests of significance assessed if either HIV infection or childhood trauma, or the combination, had a significant effect on neurocognitive performance. The majority of women were Black (96%) and had an average age of 30 years. An analysis of covariance revealed significant HIV effects for the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) learning and delay trials (p < 0.01) and the Halstead Category Test (HCT) (p < 0.05). A significant trauma effect was seen on the HVLT delay trial (p < 0.05). The results provide evidence for neurocognitive dysfunction in memory and executive functions in HIV-infected women and memory disturbances in trauma exposed women. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

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