Depression and Apathy Among People Living with HIV: Implications for Treatment of HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorders
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- Bryant, V.E., Whitehead, N.E., Burrell, L.E. et al. AIDS Behav (2015) 19: 1430. doi:10.1007/s10461-014-0970-1
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Depression and apathy are common among people living with HIV (PLWH). However, in PLWH, it is unclear whether depression and apathy are distinct conditions, which contribute to different patterns of disruption to cognitive processing and brain systems. Understanding these conditions may enable the development of prognostic indicators for HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). The present study examined substance use behavior and cognitive deficits, associated with depression and apathy, in 120 PLWH, using hierarchical regression analyses. Higher levels of depression were associated with a history of alcohol dependence and greater deficits in processing speed, motor and global cognitive functioning. Higher levels of apathy were associated with a history of cocaine dependence. It is recommended that PLWH get screened appropriately for apathy and depression, in order to receive the appropriate treatment, considering the comorbidities associated with each condition. Future research should examine the neurological correlates of apathy and depression in PLWH.