HIV and recent illicit drug use interact to affect verbal memory in women

Vanessa J. Meyer, Leah H. Rubin, Eileen Martin, Kathleen M. Weber, Mardge H. Cohen, Elizabeth T. Golub, Victor Valcour, Mary A. Young, Howard Crystal, Kathryn Anastos, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Joel Milam, Pauline M. Maki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: HIV infection and illicit drug use are each associated with diminished cognitive performance. This study examined the separate and interactive effects of HIV and recent illicit drug use on verbal memory, processing speed, and executive function in the multicenter Women's Interagency HIV Study. METHODS: Participants included 952 HIV-infected and 443 HIV-uninfected women (mean age = 42.8, 64% African-American). Outcome measures included the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test - Revised and the Stroop test. Three drug use groups were compared: recent illicit drug users (cocaine or heroin use in past 6 months, n = 140), former users (lifetime cocaine or heroin use but not in past 6 months, n = 651), and nonusers (no lifetime use of cocaine or heroin, n = 604). RESULTS: The typical pattern of recent drug use was daily or weekly smoking of crack cocaine. HIV infection and recent illicit drug use were each associated with worse verbal learning and memory (P < 0.05). Importantly, there was an interaction between HIV serostatus and recent illicit drug use such that recent illicit drug use (compared with nonuse) negatively impacted verbal learning and memory only in HIV-infected women (P < 0.01). There was no interaction between HIV serostatus and illicit drug use on processing speed or executive function on the Stroop test. CONCLUSIONS: The interaction between HIV serostatus and recent illicit drug use on verbal learning and memory suggests a potential synergistic neurotoxicity that may affect the neural circuitry underlying performance on these tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Keywords

  • African-American
  • HIV
  • cocaine
  • cognition
  • illicit drug use
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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    Meyer, V. J., Rubin, L. H., Martin, E., Weber, K. M., Cohen, M. H., Golub, E. T., Valcour, V., Young, M. A., Crystal, H., Anastos, K., Aouizerat, B. E., Milam, J., & Maki, P. M. (2013). HIV and recent illicit drug use interact to affect verbal memory in women. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 63(1), 67-76. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0b013e318289565c