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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013 Aug 15;63(5):585-92. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31829e1408.

A brief and feasible paper-based method to screen for neurocognitive impairment in HIV-infected patients: the NEU screen.

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1
*Fundació Lluita contra la SIDA, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain; †Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain; ‡Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain; §Consorci Sanitari Hospital de Terrassa, Terrassa, Spain; ‖Universitat de Barcelona, Grup de Recerca Consolidat en Neuropsicologia, Barcelona, Spain; and ¶Institut per la Recerca de la SIDA, Fundació IrsiCaixa, Badalona, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Practical screening methods are necessary to detect neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV-infected patients. We aimed to find a brief and feasible paper-based tool to facilitate the diagnosis of an HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder.

METHODS:

A total of 106 HIV-infected outpatients with variable clinical characteristics were recruited in a multicenter investigation. NCI was diagnosed using a standardized neuropsychological tests battery (7 areas, 21 measures, ∼2 hours). Multiple score combinations were compared to find a paper-based method that took ≤10 minutes to apply. The presence of NCI was considered the gold standard for comparisons, and the sensitivity and specificity were calculated.

RESULTS:

Subjects were mostly middle-aged (median, 44 years) men (87%) on antiretroviral treatment. NCI was detected in 51 individuals (48%) and was associated with lower nadir CD4 count (P < 0.001), receiving antiretroviral therapy (P = 0.004), fewer years of education (P = 0.009), and presence of comorbidities (P < 0.001). The score combination that showed the highest sensitivity (74.5%) and specificity (81.8%) detecting NCI included 3 measures of attention/working memory, executive functioning, and verbal fluency (part A of Trail Making Test, part B of Trail Making Test, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test scores). A broader paper-based selection of measures covering 7 areas indicated a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 96.3% (7 measures, ∼35 minutes).

CONCLUSIONS:

The combination of the 3 measures presented in this study seems to be a rapid and feasible screening mean for NCI in HIV-infected patients. This approach, combined with screening for potential comorbidities and daily functioning interference, could help in the initial stages of a HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder diagnosis and in settings with limited access to neuropsychological resources.

PMID:
24135776
DOI:
10.1097/QAI.0b013e31829e1408
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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