Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is an infectious disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which affects millions of individuals worldwide. This syndrome is associated with many medical complications. Fortunately, patients with HIV and AIDS have longer life expectancy than in past decades with HIV and AIDS; however, the risk of cognitive impairment is greater in this population. Identification of dementia due to HIV/AIDS by health care professionals is hampered by the unclear relationship between cognitive functioning and HIV-related health status in the HIV/AIDS research literature. For the current study, individuals with HIV/AIDS who are symptomatic with infection but do not have an AIDS indicator condition (placing them in health classification group B) were categorized into one of two groups (G1 and G2) based on their t-cell count. This evaluation is important because subjects will likely have detectable neuropsychological impairments but will not be significantly impaired across all domains, allowing for more revealing comparisons. A brief neuropsychological battery was administered to all participants. Patients with more severe HIV-related health problems (as assessed by t-cell count) were expected to show greater cognitive-related impairments, and differences in qualitative neuropsychological performance were expected across areas (e.g. motor, learning, etc.) depending on their current HIV-related status. Descriptive statistics were obtained for demographic variables, t-cell count, HIV symptoms, and health classification. Group means were compared to assess potential differences between the groups determined by t-cell count within the symptomatic without AIDS indicator health classification group. Follow-up analyses via regression were conducted to explore the relationships between variables. Findings indicate little differences between groups, but some groups differences were found while examining classification ranges.
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Kendra, Kathleen E., "Neuropsychological performance and dementia symptoms in a HIV positive population" (2008). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 978.
Wm. Drew Gouvier