Declining immune function in children and adolescents with hemophilia and HIV infection: effects on neuropsychological performance. Hemophilia Growth and Development Study

Loveland, Katherine A.; Stehbens, James A.; Mahoney, Elizabeth M.; Sirois, Patricia A.; Nichols, Sharon; Bordeaux, Janice D.; Watkins, John M.; Amodei, Nancy; Hill, Suzanne D.; Donfield, Sharyne; Loveland, K A; Stehbens, J A; Mahoney, E M; Sirois, P A; Nichols, S; Bordeaux, J D; Watkins, J M; Amodei, N; Hill, S D; Donfield, S
July 2000
Journal of Pediatric Psychology;Jul2000, Vol. 25 Issue 5, p309
Academic Journal
journal article
Objective: To determine whether declines in immune functioning are associated with changes in neuropsychological performance in children and adolescents with hemophilia who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).Methods: Participants were 333 males with hemophilia, ages 6-19 years at entry. A baseline and four annual neuropsychological evaluations were given. A longitudinal growth curves analysis of data was performed to detect changes associated with declining immune function. The cohort was stratified into four groups: (1) HIV- (n = 126); (2) HIV+, average of first two and last two CD4 counts > or = 200, (n = 106; High CD4 group); (3) HIV+, average first two counts > or = 200, average last two counts < 200 (n = 41; CD4 Drop group); and (4) HIV+, average first two and last two counts < 200 (n = 60; Low CD4 group).Results: There were significant differences among the four groups over time in nonverbal intelligence, perceptual/performance skills, nonverbal memory, academic achievement, and language. The Low CD4 group consistently showed the greatest decrement in performance. On measures showing a practice effect for repeated measurements, the Low CD4 group participants' scores remained stable over time, suggesting opposing effects of practice and HIV-related declines. Lowered academic performance relative to IQ was found in all groups.Conclusions: Declines in neuropsychological functioning are directly related to declines in immune functioning in HIV+ children, adolescents, and young adults with hemophilia. Hemophilia itself may be a risk factor for academic underachievement.


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