Association of HIV serostatus and metabolic syndrome with neurobehavioral disturbances

Caitlin N. Pope, Jessica L. Montoya, Elizabeth Vasquez, Josué Pérez-Santiago, Ronald Ellis, J. Allen McCutchan, Dilip V. Jeste, David J. Moore, María J. Marquine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a constellation of related metabolic risk factors, is a common comorbidity associated with cognitive difficulty in people living with HIV (PLWH). Neurobehavioral disturbances (e.g., behavioral manifestations of frontal-subcortical dysfunction) are also prevalent in HIV, yet the role MetS might play in HIV-associated neurobehavioral disturbances is unknown. Thus, we examined the link between MetS and neurobehavioral disturbances in PLWH. Participants included 215 adults (117 PLWH, 98 HIV-uninfected), aged 36 to 65 years, from a cohort study at the University of California San Diego. Using the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale, we captured neurobehavioral disturbances (apathy, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction). MetS was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program’s Adult Treatment Panel-III criteria. Covariates examined included demographic, neurocognitive impairment, and psychiatric characteristics. When controlling for relevant covariates, both HIV serostatus and MetS were independently associated with greater apathy and executive dysfunction. HIV, but not MetS, was associated with greater disinhibition. The present findings suggest an additive effect of HIV and MetS on specific neurobehavioral disturbances (apathy and executive dysfunction), underscoring the importance of identifying and treating both HIV and MetS to lessen central nervous system burden among PLWH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-898
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc.


  • Apathy
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Metabolic risk factors
  • Neurobehavioral signs and symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of HIV serostatus and metabolic syndrome with neurobehavioral disturbances'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this