The neurocognitive effects of a past cannabis use disorder in a diverse sample of people living with HIV

Cara L. Crook, Micah J. Savin, Desiree Byrd, Angela C. Summers, Vanessa A. Guzman, Emily P. Morris, Kayla Tureson, Maral Aghvinian, Heining Cham, Monica Rivera Mindt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

People living with HIV (PLWH) report higher rates of cannabis use than the general population, a trend likely to continue in light of recent policy changes and the reported therapeutic benefits of cannabis for PLWH. Therefore, it is important to better understand cannabis-associated effects on neurocognition, especially as PLWH are at heightened risk for neurocognitive impairment. This study aimed to elucidate the effects of a past cannabis use disorder on current neurocognition in a diverse sample of PLWH. This cross-sectional study included 138 PLWH (age M(SD) = 47.28(8.06); education M(SD) = 12.64(2.73); 73% Male; 71% Latinx) who underwent neuropsychological, DSM-diagnostic, and urine toxicology evaluations. One-way ANCOVAs were conducted to examine effects of a past cannabis use disorder (CUD+) on tests of attention/working memory, processing speed, executive functioning, verbal fluency, learning, memory, and motor ability. Compared to the past CUD- group, the past CUD+ group performed significantly better on tests of processing speed, visual learning and memory, and motor ability (p’s<.05). Findings suggest PLWH with past cannabis use have similar or better neurocognition across domains compared to PLWH without past use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1482-1491
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Volume33
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • HIV
  • Latinx
  • PLWH
  • cannabis
  • neurocognition

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