Final Abstract for URS Program
This research explores the relationship between immune markers and cognitive performance in perinatally HIV-infected youth. While the use of antiretroviral therapy has greatly improved the mortality rate among children with perinatal HIV, these children still experience various health consequences, including cognitive difficulties. Previous studies have reported that children with perinatal HIV have worse cognitive performance in domains of learning, memory, processing speed, executive function, and motor function when compared to their HIV-uninfected peers. However, there is substantial heterogeneity in cognitive performance reported across studies, possibly due to significant heterogeneity in psychosocial and demographic backgrounds. This study aims to investigate whether immune markers are potential determinants of cognitive difficulties among perinatally infected youth. A cross-sectional study of adolescents residing in privately funded orphanages in Yangon, Myanmar, was conducted, and the results suggest that lower neurocognitive performance correlates with higher plasma markers of inflammation, including CD14 and CD163. The study highlights the importance of investigating the role of immune markers in cognitive outcomes in perinatally HIV-infected youth.