Appl Neuropsychol Adult 2012 ;19(1):16-25
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles, California, USA.
The present study examined the impact of cognitive reserve in maintaining intact neuropsychological (NP) function among older HIV-positive individuals, a uniquely at-risk subgroup. Participants included 129 individuals classified by HIV serostatus, age group, and NP impairment. A three-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by a series of within-group ANOVA and multiple regression analyses were conducted to investigate the pattern of cognitive reserve (vs. other protective) influence among groups with varying risks of NP impairment. Results indicated a significant age × HIV status interaction, with older HIV-positive individuals demonstrating higher cognitive reserve than subgroups with less risk for NP compromise (younger age and/or HIV-negative). Results demonstrated higher cognitive reserve specific to NP-intact older HIV-positive individuals. Within this group, the interaction of younger age and higher cognitive reserve independently contributed to cognitive status when controlling for psychiatric, immunological, and psychosocial protective mechanisms, suggesting the importance of cognitive reserve beyond other protective mechanisms in maintaining optimal NP functioning in those individuals most at risk. Alongside younger age, factors contributing to cognitive reserve (i.e., education and estimated premorbid intelligence) may provide substantial benefit for older HIV-positive adults who are at high risk for NP compromise.