Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2023 Mar;81(3):253-262. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1763486. Epub 2023 Apr 14.
BACKGROUND: Cerebral changes occur in individuals with human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-associated myelopathy (HAM) and seem to predominate in subcortical areas. Little is known about the cognitive decline in the elderly living with HTLV-1.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cognitive aging of individuals infected with HTLV-1 aged ≥ 50 years.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of former blood donors infected with HTLV-1 who have been followed in the cohort of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on HTLV-1 since 1997. The groups of study consisted of 79 HTLV-1 infected individuals aged ≥ 50 years, with 41 of them presenting symptomatic HAM and 38 being asymptomatic carriers, and 59 seronegative individuals (controls) aged ≥ 60 years. All were submitted to the P300 electrophysiological test and neuropsychological tests.
RESULTS: Individuals with HAM presented delayed P300 latency in relation to the other groups, and this latency delay increased progressively with aging. The performance of this group in the neuropsychological tests was also the worst. The HTLV-1- asymptomatic group performance was similar to that of the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with HAM presented cognitive decline that progressed with aging and, although HTLV-1-asymptomatic carriers appear to present cognitive aging similar to that of healthy elderly people, concern about a subclinical cognitive impairment is warranted in this population.