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Appl Neuropsychol Adult. 2014;21(4):288-96. doi: 10.1080/23279095.2013.813852. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

Cognitive reserve during neuropsychological performance in HIV intravenous drug users.

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a Instituto de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação, Universidade Lusíada do Porto , Porto , Portugal.


HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders are frequently observed in people with HIV. We aimed to evaluate the influence of cognitive reserve on the neuropsychological performance of seropositive drug users. We carried out a neuropsychological assessment and compared the performance of seropositive drug users (n = 75) with that of a group of seronegative drug users (n = 48). The results showed that a low cognitive reserve makes the seropositive patients neuropsychologically vulnerable. Likewise, we found that a high cognitive reserve has a protective effect in the presence of neuropsychological impairment associated with HIV. In the seronegative group, differences in a small number of tests were found between participants with low and high cognitive reserve. Overall, these data suggest that seropositivity is not sufficient to explain the neuropsychological alterations of seropositive drug users; rather, these alterations are multifactorial.


HIV infection; cognitive alteration; cognitive reserve; intravenous drug users; neuropsychological performance; substance use disorders

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