Effects of HIV on executive function and verbal fluency in Cameroon

Georgette D. Kanmogne, Julius Y. Fonsah, Bin Tang, Roland F. Doh, Anne M. Kengne, Anya Umlauf, Claude T. Tagny, Emilienne Nchindap, Léopoldine Kenmogne, Donald Franklin, Dora M. Njamnshi, Dora Mbanya, Alfred K. Njamnshi, Robert K. Heaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are frequently associated with impaired executive function and verbal fluency. Given limited knowledge concerning HAND in Sub-Saharan-Africa and lack of Cameroonian adult neuropsychological (NP) test norms, we administered four executive function [Halstead Category Test (HCT), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Color Trails-II (CTT2), and Stroop Color-Word-Interference (SCWT)] and three verbal fluency (Category, Action, and Letter Fluency) tests to 742 adult Cameroonians (395 HIV−, 347 HIV+). We developed demographically-corrected NP test norms and examined the effects of HIV and related variables on subjects’ executive function and verbal fluency. HIV+ subjects had significantly lower T-scores on CTT2 (P = 0.005), HCT (P = 0.032), WCST (P < 0.001); lower executive function composite (P = 0.002) and Action Fluency (P = 0.03) T-scores. ART, viremia, and CD4 counts did not affect T-scores. Compared to cases harboring other viral subtypes, subjects harboring HIV-1 CRF02_AG had marginally higher CTT2 T-scores, significantly higher SCWT (P = 0.015) and executive function (P = 0.018) T-scores. Thus, HIV-1 infection in Cameroon is associated with impaired executive function and some aspects of verbal fluency, and viral genotype influenced executive function. We report the first normative data for assessing executive function and verbal fluency in adult Cameroonians and provide regression-based formulas for computing demographically-adjusted T-scores. These norms will be useful for investigating HIV/AIDS and other diseases affecting cognitive functioning in Cameroon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17794
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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