Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Cognitive Improvement Following Antiretroviral Treatment for HIV

Event Location / Date(s)

Marco Island, FL / November 16-19, 2011

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

31st Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology



Objectives: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) often leads to neurocognitive deficits. HIV progression is slowed by antiretroviral therapy. Antiretroviral may reduce the incidence of HIV-related dementia but not HIV-associated cognitive impairment. This case demonstrates mild cognitive improvement following 1 year of antiretroviral treatment. The patient was a 44-year-old with HIV and mild cognitive impairment. Impairment of memory and executive functioning was less pronounced following 1 year of antiretroviral therapy.

Methods: Examination of intellectual, memory, executive, and language functioning were conducted prior to and following 1 year of antiretroviral treatment. Results: Intelligence (WAIS-4 IQ = 118, 126), Perceptual Reasoning (100, 98), and Processing Speed (114, 111) remained relatively intact over time, consistent with premorbid estimates (WAIS Vocabulary = 14, 13). Language remained intact (FAS = 18, 16, BNt = 116, 116). Auditory Memory (102) was mildly impaired prior to treatment but was not administered at follow-up as the client recalled complete stories from Logical Memory and Verbal Paired Associates from prior administration. There was significant improvement in ability to reproduce designs immediately (Visual Reproduction I = 7, 10). Executive functioning (RUFF = 74, 100, WCST Preservative Errors = 73, 85), Verbal Comprehension (127, 143), and Working Memory (122, 136) improved.

Conclusion: HIV-related cognitive impairment may be reduced following antiretroviral treatment. Intelligence and perceptual reasoning are more resistant to HIV cognitive impairment while executive functioning and memory are more susceptible to impairment. Following a 1-year course of antiretroviral treatment impairments in executive functioning and memory may improve.

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