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Title: Executive function deficits in HIV-associated neurocognitive decline
Author: Johal, Amardeep
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 4043
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2014
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People with HIV infection are living longer as a result of advances in combination antiretroviral therapy. This increase in lifespan has been coupled with an increase in the prevalence of HIV associated neurocognitive decline (HAND). A central feature of this presentation is the impairment of executive functioning, and the aim of this study was to explore whether there is general impairment of this domain or whether there is an executive function profile (of deficits versus relatively preserved aspects of function) in people with HAND. Sixteen participants with HAND (mean age = 49.25 years, range 23 to 72 years) were recruited from an inpatient HIV-rehabilitation unit, and completed cognitive and executive function batteries. The executive function profile obtained at group level suggested impairments in working memory, verbal initiation, verbal inhibition, rule induction, and processing speed abilities. In contrast letter fluency and visuo-spatial switching scores were less affected. Case series analyses indicated that cognitive and executive functioning varied widely within the participant sample. However verbal initiation and inhibition were impaired in all profiles, indicating these impairments are prominent in the early stages of disease. The findings of this study indicate that it may be beneficial for clinicians to use executive function batteries when assessing for HAND, since a thorough assessment of this multi-faceted cognitive domain can support more informed clinical decision-making. Further, the study suggests which tests may be clinically useful in detecting executive function deficits in HAND.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available