Cognitive Reserve Protects Against Apathy in Individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Shapiro, Miriam E.; Mahoney, Jeannette R.; Peyser, Deena; Zingman, Barry S.; Verghese, Joe
February 2014
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology;Feb2014, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p110
Academic Journal
Apathy is associated with impaired neuropsychological functioning in individuals with HIV. While cognitive reserve (CR) delays neurocognitive decline, CR's relationship with apathy has never been studied. We examined CR's association with apathy in 116 HIV-positive individuals recruited from an urban AIDS center and assessed whether this relationship is moderated by age and/or disease severity. Participants completed the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading and Apathy Evaluation Scale. A CR-composite, combining years of education and word-reading ability, significantly predicted apathy (t = −2.37, p = .02). CR's relationship with apathy was not moderated by age, but participants with nadir CD4 levels ≤200 demonstrated a stronger association (t = −3.25, p = .002) than those with nadir CD4 levels > 200 (t = −0.61, p = .55). These findings suggest a protective effect of CR against apathy in HIV-infected individuals across the age span, particularly after a certain threshold of disease severity.


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