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Effects of HIV infection, antiretroviral therapy, and immune status on the speed of information processing and complex motor functions in adult Cameroonians.


HIV-associated neurocognitive deficits include impaired speed-of-information processing (SIP) and motor functions. There is lack of Cameroonian adult norms for assessing SIP or motor functions. This study of 683 Cameroonians (320 HIV+, 363 HIV-) establishes demographically-adjusted norms for six SIP [Wechsler-Adult-Intelligence-Scale (WAIS)-III Digit Symbol (WAIS-IIIDS) and Symbol Search (WAIS-IIISS), Stroop Color-Naming, Stroop Word-Reading, Trail-Making Test-A (TMT-A), Color Trails-1 (CTT1)], and two motor function [Grooved Pegboard-dominant (GP-DH) and non-dominant (GP-NDH) hands] tests. We assessed viral effects on SIP and motor functions. HIV-infected persons had significantly lower (worse) T scores on GP-DH, WAIS-IIIDS, Stroop Word-Reading, TMT-A; lower motor and SIP summary T scores. Significantly higher proportion of cases (20.7%) than controls (10.3%) had impaired SIP. Male cases had better T scores than female cases on GP-NDH, WAIS-IIIDS, WAIS-IIISS, TMT-A, CTT1; better SIP summary T scores. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) was associated with significantly better T scores on GP-NDH, WAIS-IIIDS, Stroop Color-Naming; better motor and SIP summary T scores. Cases with higher CD4 had better T scores on WAIS-IIIDS, TMT-A, CTT1; better SIP summary T scores. Overall, we demonstrate that HIV infection in Cameroon is associated with deficits in SIP and motor functions; ART and higher CD4 are associated with better cognitive performance. We provide SIP and psychomotor functions normative standards, which will be useful for neurobehavioral studies in Cameroon of diseases affecting the brain.

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