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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2075-9479


ABUSAMRA, Valeria et al. Cognitive disorders in HIV-1: pragmatic dimension of verbal communication. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2014, vol.6, n.1, pp. 22-30. ISSN 2075-9479.

Introduction: The disruption of neurocognitive functioning is a frequent complication in HIV-positive patients. Despite this, pragmatic difficulties and, in particular, verbal communication difficulties have been poorly studied in this population of patients. Objectives: We proposed to study the verbal communication skills in a group of HIV-1 infected patients, by applying the Protocolo MEC. Methods: We evaluated 20 patients who were attending at the Infectious Diseases Service of the Hospital Thompson (San Martín, Buenos Aires) and who met the following inclusion criteria: over 18 years of age; HIV-1 positive; native speakers of Spanish; no alterations in language acquisition, reading, or writing; no history of neurological or psychiatric disease; patients receiving TARV-antiretroviral-treatment or not receiving TARV (not including efavirenz / with detectable viral load [> 50 copies / mL]). They were evaluated with Protocol MEC, which values verbal communication abilities. Results: The results demonstrate that some of the skills evaluated by the different MEC Protocol tests are more vulnerable in HIV-1 patients. The tasks that showed the most frequent and systematic deficits among patients were discourse-level tasks and those that evaluate lexical semantic processing. Conclusion: The detection of communication deficit in HIV-1 patients would be the starting point for the identification of disorders and the admission of the patients to health care system.

Keywords : HIV-1; Cognitive disorders; Verbal communication; Pragmatic.

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