In the Journals

HCV coinfection did not impair mental function in HIV patients

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December 18, 2014

Neurocognitive performance did not appear to be associated with HCV coinfection among people with HIV, according to recently published data.

David B. Clifford, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine, and colleagues administered neurocognitive performance tests to 1,582 HIV patients enrolled in the CNS HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effects Research study. Test results were compared between participants who were HCV-seropositive (n=408) and HCV-seronegative (n=1,174), as well as within a subset of seropositive (n=160) and seronegative (n=707) participants without serious comorbid neurologic conditions. Factors associated with HIV, demographics and liver function also were considered.

Performance was the same in the groups with or without HCV.

In univariate analysis, the group with HCV showed a small increase in verbal performance; however, this was not seen in multivariable analysis. No differences in any area were evident within the subset of participants without neurocognitive comorbidities.

“In all, we looked at seven domains of mental function,” Clifford said in a press release. “We studied their overall performance and looked at each domain individually and found no evidence that the group with HCV performed worse.

“If a hepatitis C infection gets to the point where it damages liver function, the resulting inflammation might well contribute to mental impairment. Beyond that, though, it doesn’t seem to be an active collaborator in the harm HIV does to the brain.”

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of relevant financial disclosures

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