Study Examining Behavioral, Cognitive Effects of HIV Among Children
- "A Behavioral and Cognitive Profile of Clinically Stable HIV-Infected Children," Pediatrics: Molly Nozyce of the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center's Department of Pediatrics and colleagues studied 274 HIV-positive children ages two to 17 who previously had undergone antiretroviral treatment. The researchers examined the relationship between neuropsychosocial characteristics, age and CD4+ T cell count (Nozyce et al., Pediatrics, March 2006). They found the children participating in the study had significantly lower intellectual evaluation scores than the general population. In addition, results from the Conners' Parent Rating Scale -- which is used to assess attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and behavioral problems in children and adolescents -- indicate that 16% of the children had conduct problems, 25% had learning problems, 28% were psychosomatic, 19% were impulsive-hyperactive, 8% had anxiety issues and 20% had ADHD. The prevalence of ADHD in the general population is 3% to 5%, according to the American Psychiatric Association, the authors said. "As therapies improve and children live longer, studies such as ours will help raise awareness and promote the development of therapeutic interventions designed to improve learning and behavior in this population of children," the researchers wrote (Reuters Health, 3/23).