Effect of interferon-α on cognitive functioning in patients with chronic hepatitis C

Robin C. Hilsabeck, Tarek I. Hassanein, Elizabeth A. Ziegler, Meghan D. Carlson, William Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Treatment with interferon-alpha (IFN-α) has been shown to adversely affect cognitive functioning in patients with a variety of medical disorders, but information about the effects of IFN-α on cognitive functioning in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of IFN-α on neuropsychological test performance in CHC patients. Participants were 30 patients with CHC, 11 who underwent IFN-α therapy and 19 who did not. All participants were tested at baseline (i.e., pretreatment) and approximately 6 months later with the Symbol Digit Modalities Test and Trail Making Test. Results revealed that the treatment group performed significantly worse than untreated CHC patients on Part B of the Trail Making Test after approximately 6 months of treatment. No significant group differences were found on Part A of the Trail Making Test or Symbol Digit Modalities Test. Findings suggest that CHC patients undergoing treatment with IFN-α may experience reduced abilities to benefit from practice but suffer no decrements in performance after 6 months of treatment. Additional research is needed to replicate these findings and to explore risk factors for susceptibility to IFN-α-induced effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Keywords

  • Chronic liver disease
  • HCV
  • Neuropsychological impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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