HIV, sleep EEG, and brain aging
To estimate the effect of HIV on specific EEG features, the investigators again evaluated the total effect, this time replacing BAI with individual sleep EEG as the primary outcome. Among the 34 EEG features significantly altered by HIV, none were observed in the wake state and three were altered in REM (each associated with reduced delta band power). The rest were distributed in non-REM sleep, most notably in the deepest phase, corresponding to relative reductions in delta wave power.
The study findings build on the investigators’ previous research, which demonstrated an association between greater mean BAI and dementia, psychotic disorders, and anxiety/mood disorders in HIV-negative subjects, all of which correlated to attenuated slow-wave sleep.
More research is needed to determine if BAI, as it relates to sleep EEG, can effectively track the risk for cognitive decline among HIV-positive people, and if certain confounders might attenuate or accelerate this risk.
“While our team has not specifically looked at BAI, the findings in this study seem perfectly in line with what we have found with our own research,” Dr. Gamaldo said in an interview. “Not only have we observed a robust association between minimal cognitive deficits and patients’ sleep complaints (despite being virally controlled), but also, the potential value of measuring the architectural sleep features by ambulatory EEG to identify HIV patients’ vulnerability to cognitive decline.”
“BAI is a physiologic, easily repeatable measurement that can be used to track if an intervention is having a good effect,” Dr. Westover said.
Dr. Mukerji concurred, adding that “having a tool that can be used in resource-challenged settings and also be incorporated into longitudinal studies in a patient population with substantial age-related comorbidities, like HIV, would be really helpful.”
Dr. Westover and Dr. Mukerji disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Gamaldo is a consultant for Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and has received author royalties from UpToDate and honoraria from Medscape CME for content contribution.
A version of this article first appeared on.