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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: Persistent neurocognitive decline in a clinic sample of Hepatitis C virus-infected persons receiving Interferon and Ribavirin treatment.
Authors: Cattie JE, Letendre SL, Woods SP, Barakat F, Perry W, Cherner M, Umlauf A, Franklin D, Heaton RK, Hassanein T, Grant I
Year: 2014
Publication: Journal of Neurovirology
Volume: 20 Issue: 6 Pages: 561-570
Abstract:Treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (IFN/RBV) can be associated with neuropsychiatric side effects, which may necessitate dose reductions or treatment discontinuation. This study aimed to characterize the time course and predictors of cognitive and affective/mood symptoms after IFN/RBV treatment initiation. Forty individuals enrolled in a longitudinal project underwent comprehensive cognitive, medical, and psychiatric assessment at baseline and 10 weeks, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months after treatment initiation. Analyses were conducted to determine the prevalence of neurocognitive impairment over time; explicate the relationship between neurocognitive impairment, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and liver disease at each time point; and identify predictors of neurocognitive decline as well as cognitive effects of viral clearance. By 10 weeks after initiating IFN/RBV, the prevalence of neurocognitive impairment rose from 22.5 to 47.4 % (p < 0.05). Infection with genotype 1 and premorbid depression were associated with more severe declines (p < 0.05). After 18 months, 42.5 % remained neurocognitively impaired, independent of viral clearance, severity of liver disease, and current depressive symptoms. Undetectable viral load was not associated with improvement 18 months after initiating treatment (p > 0.10). Results of the current study indicate that IFN/RBV treatment-emergent neurocognitive declines are significant, prevalent, and may persist long after treatment cessation. Clinicians should monitor cognition throughout the course of treatment for HCV, noting that early declines may indicate individuals at elevated risk for persistent neurocognitive impairment. Longer-term studies are needed to determine whether lasting declines may remit over longer intervals or with newer direct acting agents.

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