A family history of substance dependence obscures the group differences in brain function associated with HIV-1 and ART.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Recently, the NIH called for additional research on the topic of viral and host factors contributing to impaired cognitive and neural function in HIV/AIDS patients and their response to antiretroviral treatment. This investigation responds to that call by examining a host factor, a family history of substance dependence, often overlooked in cognitive and neuroimaging studies of HIV/AIDS. METHODS We categorized 146 HIV-1 seropositive patients receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) and 92 seronegative volunteers by the presence or absence of alcohol, cocaine, or heroin dependence affecting a biological parent. Seropositive patients were further categorized by the estimated ability of their individual ART regimens to penetrate the CNS. The indicator of brain function was a 3-7Hz oscillatory electroencephalographic response (theta ERO) evoked by target stimuli presented during a simple selective attention task. RESULTS The analysis revealed that the presence of a family history of substance dependence obscured the reduction in frontal theta ERO power accompanying the presence of HIV-1 as well as the improvement in frontal theta ERO power accompanying treatment with ART agents estimated to have greater (n=41) versus lesser (n=105) CNS penetrance. Secondary analyses employing sLORETA source localization techniques revealed that the source of the theta ERO response was similarly reduced by the presence of either HIV-1 or a family history of substance dependence. CONCLUSIONS We conclude that a family history of substance dependence complicates and obscures the subtle neurophysiological changes which typically accompany HIV/AIDS and ART. Studies of new therapeutic agents for HIV-1-associated cognitive and neurophysiological impairments must consider this complication and exclude or control it.

DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.06.008

Cite this paper

@article{Bauer2013AFH, title={A family history of substance dependence obscures the group differences in brain function associated with HIV-1 and ART.}, author={Lance O. Bauer}, journal={Drug and alcohol dependence}, year={2013}, volume={127 1-3}, pages={45-52} }