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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Poster
Title: Plasma vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) levels are elevated in HIV disease and methamphetamine dependence associated with neurocognitive impairment.
Authors: Iudicello JE, Morgan EE, Cookson DR, Potter M, Ellis RJ, Heaton RK, Grant I, Letendre S
Date: 02-21-2019
Abstract:Objective: Methamphetamine (METH) use and HIV disease commonly co-occur and both can lead to adverse effects on the central nervous system, including neurovascular injury and neurocognitive impairment (NCI). However, the link between neurovascular injury and NCI is not well characterized in this population. This study sought to determine whether plasma vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), a biomarker of endothelial dysfunction linked to cardiovascular disease, would be elevated and associated with NCI among individuals with METH dependence and/or HIV disease.Participants and Methods: Participants included 230 individuals classified by METH dependence diagnoses (M+/M-) and HIV serostatus (H+/H-) into four groups: M-H- (n=75), M+H- (n=63), M-H+ (n=50), and M+H+ (n=43). Plasma VCAM-1 was measured by immunoassay and all participants completed a comprehensive neurocognitive evaluation. All H+ individuals were on suppressive antiretroviral therapy.Results: Regression models predicting plasma VCAM-1 levels revealed significant independent main effects of METH (p=0.024) and HIV (p=0.006), even after accounting for relevant demographic and vascular risk (e.g., hypertension) factors. Plasma VCAM-1 levels were highest in the M+H+ group (Cohenís d relative to the M-H- group=0.79; p<0.001), followed by the M-H+ and M+H- groups (Cohenís ds relative to the M-H- group=0.47 and 0.38; ps=0.015 and 0.118). Within the whole sample, VCAM-1 levels were significantly associated with poorer executive functioning, speeded information processing, and motor abilities (ps<0.05). Conclusions: METH and HIV confer significant risk for vascular injury, which may play an important role in the incidence and persistence of NCI. Understanding the vascular processes underlying METH- and HIV-associated NCI is critical for the development of effective detection, prevention, and treatment approaches for NCI in these increasingly prevalent risk groups.

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