December 19, 2012
A study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes documented mild cognitive impairment in men who were coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C in comparison to groups of HIV-infected men, hepatitis C-infected men, and a control group of healthy men.
In addition to more symptoms of depression, the coinfected group scored lower on tests for attention, executive function, fine motor function, and visual and verbal learning memory, AIDSMAP reported. When overall scores for each group were compared, the study ranked 65 percent of the coinfected men as cognitively "impaired." The study classified 42 percent of men infected only with hepatitis C and 29 percent of HIV-infected men as impaired. Eighteen percent of the control group scored in the impaired range. Researchers from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs stated that all of the coinfected men in the study had well-controlled HIV with undetectable viral loads. None of the men had clinical depression, cirrhosis of the liver, or drug or alcohol abuse problems at the time of the study.
The study, "Differential Cognitive Impairment in HCV Coinfected Men with Controlled HIV Compared to HCV Monoinfection," was published online in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e31827b61f1, 2012).