Post-traumatic stress is associated with verbal learning, memory, and psychomotor speed in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women

Leah H. Rubin, Maria Pyra, Judith A. Cook, Kathleen M. Weber, Mardge H. Cohen, Eileen Martin, Victor Valcour, Joel Milam, Kathryn Anastos, Mary A. Young, Christine Alden, Deborah R. Gustafson, Pauline M. Maki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is higher among HIV-infected (HIV+) women compared with HIV-uninfected (HIV−) women, and deficits in episodic memory are a common feature of both PTSD and HIV infection. We investigated the association between a probable PTSD diagnosis using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian (PCL-C) version and verbal learning and memory using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test in 1004 HIV+ and 496 at-risk HIV− women. HIV infection was not associated with a probable PTSD diagnosis (17 % HIV+, 16 % HIV−; p = 0.49) but was associated with lower verbal learning (p < 0.01) and memory scores (p < 0.01). Irrespective of HIV status, a probable PTSD diagnosis was associated with poorer performance in verbal learning (p < 0.01) and memory (p < 0.01) and psychomotor speed (p < 0.001). The particular pattern of cognitive correlates of probable PTSD varied depending on exposure to sexual abuse and/or violence, with exposure to either being associated with a greater number of cognitive domains and a worse cognitive profile. A statistical interaction between HIV serostatus and PTSD was observed on the fine motor skills domain (p = 0.03). Among women with probable PTSD, HIV− women performed worse than HIV+ women on fine motor skills (p = 0.01), but among women without probable PTSD, there was no significant difference in performance between the groups (p = 0.59). These findings underscore the importance of considering mental health factors as correlates to cognitive deficits in women with HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-169
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • HIV
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology

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    Rubin, L. H., Pyra, M., Cook, J. A., Weber, K. M., Cohen, M. H., Martin, E., Valcour, V., Milam, J., Anastos, K., Young, M. A., Alden, C., Gustafson, D. R., & Maki, P. M. (2016). Post-traumatic stress is associated with verbal learning, memory, and psychomotor speed in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. Journal of NeuroVirology, 22(2), 159-169. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13365-015-0380-9