Objectives: This study examined the effects of HAART on neurocognitive functioning in persons with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV co-infection.
Design: A prospective study examining neurocognitive performance before and after HAART initiation.
Method: Participant groups included a mono-infected group (45 HIV+/HCV− participants) and a co-infected group (20 HIV+/HCV+ participants). A neuropsychological battery (attention/concentration, psychomotor speed, executive functioning, verbal memory, visual memory, fine motor, and gross motor functioning) was used to evaluate all participants. After 6 months of HAART, 31 HIV+ mono-infected and 13 HCV+/HIV+ co-infected participants were reevaluated.
Results: Neurocognitive functioning by domain revealed significantly worse performance in the co-infected group when compared to the monoinfected group on domains of visual memory and fine motor functioning. Assessment of neurocognitive functioning after antiretroviral therapy revealed that the co-infected group was no longer performing worse than the monoinfected group.
Conclusions: The findings of the current study suggest that persons with HCV+/HIV+ co-infection may have greater neurocognitive declines than persons with HIV infection alone. HCV+/HIV+ co-infection may accelerate the progression of HIV related neurocognitive decline.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
Received 7 June, 2005
Accepted 9 May, 2006
Correspondence to T. D. Parsons, Department of Neurology, CB # 7025, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 3114 Bioinformatics Building, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7025, USA. Tel: +1 919 966 8172; fax: +1 919 966 2922; e-mail: email@example.com