Normative scores for a brief neuropsychological battery for the detection of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) among South Africans

Dinesh Singh, John A. Joska, Karl Goodkin, Enrique Lopez, Landon Myer, Robert H. Paul, Sally John, Henry Sunpath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. There is an urgent need to more accurately diagnose HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) in Africa. Rapid screening tests for HIV-associated dementia are of limited utility due to variable sensitivity and specificity. The use of selected neuropsychological tests is more appropriate, but norms for HIV seronegative people are not readily available for sub-Saharan African populations. We sought to derive normative scores for two commonly used neuropsychological tests that generate four test scores - namely the Trail-Making Test (Parts A and B) and the Digit Span Test [Forward (DSF) and Backward (DSB)]. To assess memory and recall, we used the memory item of the International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS). Findings. One hundred and ten HIV seronegative participants were assessed at McCord Hospital, Durban, South Africa between March 3rd and October 31st, 2008. We excluded people with major depressive disorder, substance use abuse and dependence and head injuries (with or without loss of consciousness). All the participants in this study were African and predominantly female with an average age of 28.5 years and 10 years of education. Age and gender influenced neuropsychological functioning, with older people performing worse. The effect of gender was not uniform across all the tests. Conclusion. These two neuropsychological tests can be administered with the IHDS in busy antiretroviral clinics. Their performance can be measured against these norms to more accurately diagnose the spectrum and progression of HAND.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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