Meth Use, HIV Infection Linked to Changes in Brain Structure That Can Impair Cognitive Functions, Study Says
August 15, 2005
Methamphetamine use and HIV infection might significantly alter the size of a person's brain structure, leading to cognitive function impairments such as difficulties learning or processing information, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, CQ HealthBeat reports (CQ HealthBeat, 8/11). Terry Jernigan of the University of California-San Diego and colleagues conducted brain scans to examine structural volume changes in 103 adults from four groups: HIV-positive meth users, HIV-negative meth users, HIV-positive people who did not use meth and HIV-negative people who did not use meth. Researchers also assessed participants' thinking and reasoning abilities through a series of tests that studied information processing speed, attention or working memory, learning and delayed recall, abstraction or executive functioning, verbal fluency and motor functioning.
Study Findings, Next Steps
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