Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: HIV-associated deficits in action (verb) generation may reflect astrocytosis.
Authors: Woods S, Iudicello J, Dawson M, Weber E, Grant I, Letendre S, and the HNRC Group
Year: 2010
Publication: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Volume: 32 Issue: 5 Pages: 522-527
Abstract:Commensurate with the hypothesized neural dissociation between verb and noun generation, research in HIV infection shows that, relative to noun fluency, action (verb) fluency is disproportionately impaired, more strongly related to executive dysfunction, and more sensitive to declines in everyday functioning. However, whether the neurobiological correlates of HIV-associated deficits in verb and noun generation are separable have not heretofore been investigated. The present study examined the biomarker correlates of action and noun fluency in 74 participants with HIV infection. Biomarkers of viral burden, neuroaxonal damage, macrophage activation, neuroprotection, inflammation, and astrocytosis were measured in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Deficits in action, but not noun generation, were significantly associated with higher CSF levels of S100beta, a marker of astrocyte activation, even after controlling for antiretroviral therapy, current immune compromise, and general cognitive impairment. Concurrent validity for the frontal systems hypothesis of verb generation was provided by post hoc analyses demonstrating that S100beta was also associated with measures of executive functions, but not semantic memory or psychomotor speed. Overall, these findings suggest that HIV-associated impairment in action fluency, and executive dysfunction more generally, may reflect astrocytosis (i.e., elevated S100beta). Complementing the literature in HIV and other clinical populations with frontal systems involvement, these data also support the possible neurobiological dissociation of noun and verb generation.

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