Cognitive impairments in Polish children and adolescents with perinatal HIV infection
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Klinika Psychiatrii Wieku Rozwojowego, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny
Wydział Psychologii, SWPS Uniwersytet Humanistycznospołeczny
Klinika Chorób Zakaźnych Wieku Dziecięcego, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny
Submission date: 2020-10-10
Final revision date: 2020-12-24
Acceptance date: 2021-03-14
Online publication date: 2022-10-31
Publication date: 2022-10-31
Corresponding author
Anna Zielińska-Wieniawska   

Klinika Psychiatrii Wieku Rozwojowego, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny
Psychiatr Pol 2022;56(5):1061-1077
The aim of the study was to assess the presence of cognitive impairments in children and adolescents with vertically transmitted HIV infection and to determine possible relationships with clinical and socio-demographic variables.

Fifty children with perinatal HIV infection aged 6-18 years were included in the experimental group (PHIV+). Two sex- and age-matched groups were recruited as reference groups: (1) a PHEU group that included 24 healthy children perinatally HIV-exposed but uninfected, and (2) an HIV-nA group that included 43 healthy children of uninfected parents. CANTAB Research Suite was used to assess cognitive functioning.

In comparison with the HIV-nA group, the PHIV+ group scored worse in movement execution, shifting and flexibility of attention, reversal learning and working memory. In comparison with the PHEU group, the PHIV+ group had significantly longer planning time in the memory task. The analysis of results for the 12-18 year-old age group revealed deterioration of cognitive functions in all tests of the PHIV+ children in comparison with the HIV-nA group. A higher logarithm of viral load at the start of the ARV treatment was associated with worse results in the use of feedback, shifting of attention, cognitive flexibility and worse information processing.

Results of the research indicate deterioration of executive functioning in the PHIV+ group associated with longer duration of HIV neuroinfection and severity of infection before treatment.

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