Cross-sectional analysis of cognitive function using multivariate normative comparisons in men with HIV disease

Zheng Wang, Samantha A. Molsberry, Yu Cheng, Lawrence Kingsley, Andrew J. Levine, Eileen Martin, Cynthia A. Munro, Ann Ragin, Leah H. Rubin, Ned Sacktor, Eric C. Seaberg, James T. Becker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Prevalence estimates of cognitive impairment in HIV disease vary widely. Here we used multivariate normative comparison (MNC) with identify individuals with impaired cognition, and to compare the results with those using the Frascati and Gisslén criteria.Methods:The current project used data collected before October 2014 from bisexual/gay men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. A total of 2904 men (mean age 39.7 years, 52.7% seropositive) had complete data in six cognitive domains at their first neuropsychological evaluation. T-scores were computed for each domain and the MNC was applied to detect impairment among seronegative and seropositive groups.Results:The MNC classified 6.26% of seronegative men as being impaired using a predetermined 5% false discovery rate. By contrast, the Frascati and the Gisslén criteria identified 24.54 and 11.36% of seronegative men as impaired. For seropositive men, the percentage impairment was 7.45, 25.73, and 11.69%, respectively, by the MNC, Frascati and Gisslén criteria. When we used seronegative men without medical comorbidities as the control group, the MNC, the Frascati and the Gisslén criteria identified 5.05, 27.07, and 4.21% of the seronegative men, and 4.34, 30.95, and 4.48% of the seropositive men as having cognitive impairment. For each method, serostatus was not associated with cognitive impairment.Conclusion:The MNC controls the false discovery rate and therefore avoids the low specificity that characterizes the Frascati and Gisslén criteria. More research is needed to evaluate the sensitivity of the MNC method in a seropositive population that may be sicker and older than the current study sample and that includes women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2115-2124
Number of pages10
Issue number14
StatePublished - Nov 15 2019


  • HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders
  • cognitive impairment
  • false discovery rate
  • multicenter AIDS cohort study
  • psychosocial tests
  • the Frascati criteria
  • the Gisslén criteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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