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Cognitive Rehabilitation in Ugandan Children With HIV (HIV CCRT)

This study has suspended participant recruitment.
(awaiting additional funding)
Makerere University
Child Health Advocacy International
University of Michigan
University of California, San Francisco
Information provided by:
Michigan State University Identifier:
First received: June 22, 2009
Last updated: NA
Last verified: June 2009
History: No changes posted
Research Topic: Over 110,000 HIV Ugandan children are at risk for neurocognitive disorders due to the progressive encephalopathy of CNS HIV infection. Even if clinically stable, these children can have motor, attention, memory, visual-spatial processing, and other executive function impairment. One-hundred and fifty school-age children with HIV in Kayunga District, Uganda, will serve as our participants. Fifty of these children will be randomly selected to receive 24 training sessions of a computerized cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CCRT) program called Captain's Log, marketed mostly for American children with attention or learning problems. A locked version of Captain's Log which does not direct the child's training in a progressive manner will be administered to a second "active control" group; while a third group will be a passive control group not receiving any computer training intervention. Study Aim 1: To compare the neuropsychological benefit of 24 training sessions of Captain's Log CCRT to the active and passive control groups over a 8-week period, and at 3-month follow-up. Study Aim 2: To compare the psychiatric benefit of 24 training sessions of Captain's Log CCRT to the active and passive control groups over an 8-week period, and at 3-month follow-up. Study Aim 3: To evaluate how HIV subtype, ART treatment status, and the corresponding clinical stability of the child modifies CCRT neuropsychological performance gains and psychiatric symptom reduction. Outcome Assessments: The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, 2nd ed. (KABC-2), Tests of Variables of Attention (TOVA) visual and auditory tests, CogState computerized neuropsychological screening test, Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2), and Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) will be administered before and after the 8-week training period and at 3-month follow-up. We have previously used all these assessments with Ugandan children with HIV to effectively evaluate neuropsychological and psychiatric problems. Captain's Log has an internal evaluator feature which will help us monitor the specific training tasks to which the children best respond. Based on our prior research with Kayunga children with HIV, we anticipate that about 40% of our sample will be on ART at study enrollment, and about 20% will be Subtype D while 60% will be subtype A. We also observed that children with HIV Subtype A are at greater risk for neurocognitive deficits. Analyses: We will compare neuropsychological and psychiatric gains over the 8-week training period and at 3-mo follow-up for our three study groups, anticipating that they will be significantly greater for the CCRT intervention children (Study Aims 1 & 2). These neuropsychological gains will be associated with improved school performance over the long-term. Intervention children on ART will have greater gains than those not on ART, and HIV subtype D children will have lower viral loads and higher lymphocyte activation levels, resulting in greater gains from CCRT (Study Aim 3). Conclusion: CCRT will prove effective and sustainable in potentiating the neurocognitive benefit of ART in HIV children. It will prove viable for assessing and treating children in resource-poor settings.

Condition Intervention Phase
HIV Infections Behavioral: Computerized cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CCRT) Behavioral: control group Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Neuropsychological Benefits of Cognitive Training in Ugandan HIV Children

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Michigan State University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Neuropsychologcial Performance (CogState, KABC2, TOVA) [ Time Frame: 8 weeks intervention, pre- post-, and 3 mo follow-up assessments ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Psychiatric symptom reduction (CBCL) [ Time Frame: pre-intervention, post intervention, 3 mo follow-up ]

Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: October 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: October 2012
Estimated Primary Completion Date: October 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: CCRT intervention Behavioral: Computerized cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CCRT)
8 weeks of 3 times weekly intervention for 45 min per session with Captain's Log program
No Intervention: Control Behavioral: control group
no computer training

  Hide Detailed Description

Detailed Description:

Aim 1. To evaluate the effectiveness of CCRT in improving cognitive performance outcomes in Ugandan children with HIV.

Hypothesis 1a: CCRT can improve short and long-term cognitive outcomes in children with HIV; Hypothesis 1b: Improvements in performance associated with CCRT are not solely due to increased computer exposure.

One-hundred and fifty school-age children with HIV in Kayunga District, Uganda, will undergo baseline neuropsychological testing using the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC-2), the computerized Tests of Variables of Attention (TOVA: auditory and visual tests), the brief CogState computerized neuropsychological test battery (CogState), and the Bruininks-Oseretsky Tests of Motor Proficiency (2nd edition) (BOT-2). Cogstate is designed as a neuropsychological screening tool with minimal practice effects and suitable in a repeated measures design for monitoring the benefits of treatment on neurocognitive disability11. Children then will be randomized to either: CCRT intervention group (Captain's Log active rehabilitation), active control group (Captain's Log locked, non-rehabilitation mode), or passive control group (no computer intervention). CCRT or computer controls will be presented over 24 sessions (~ 45 min) for 8 weeks (3 sessions per week). After the 8-weeks, neurocognitive gains will be assessed with CogState and the KABC-2 working memory subscales (primary expected outcome measures). The full KABC-2, TOVA, CogState, and BOT-2 will be re-administered 3 months after the 8-week assessment. Thus, the full battery will be administered at enrollment and at 3-month follow-up, while the most strategic portions of the battery will be administered following the 8 weeks CCRT intervention period. The combined testing will allow us to assess both the short-term and longer-term neuropsychological benefits of CCRT.

Aim 2. To evaluate the effectiveness of CCRT in reducing psychiatric symptoms in Ugandan children with HIV.

Hypothesis 2: CCRT can reduce short- and long-term psychiatric symptoms in children with HIV.

Previously in cerebral malaria survivors, we demonstrated a significant reduction in short-term symptoms related to anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints as assessed by the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) following CCRT intervention12. In this aim, caregiver-reported psychiatric symptoms on the CBCL will be assessed at enrollment, after the 8-week CCRT intervention period, and 3 months after enrollment. The CBCL assessment will also help us gauge the psychosocial benefits of the social attention and enrichment surrounding computer exposure in the active control condition, rather than the rehabilitative aspects of CCRT per se. This will be evident as we compare the active and passive control groups.

Aim 3. To evaluate how HIV subtype and the corresponding immunological status of the child modifies CCRT neuropsychological performance gains and psychiatric symptom reduction; .after controlling for quality of home environment, nutrition, and other risk factors of poverty.

Hypothesis 3: More aggressive HIV infection type accompanied by higher viral load and lower T-cell lymphocyte levels will decrease neural plasticity, as evidenced by lessened cognitive or psychiatric improvement after CCRT.

Our preliminary data indicates that specific HIV Subtype A in Ugandan children results in higher viral loads and lower T-lymphocyte levels in school-age children, as compared to Subtype D infection. These were associated with poorer neuropsychological outcomes. Likewise, in our preliminary HIV CCRT study Ugandan children with HIV, lower CD8 and CD4 activation levels in children receiving CCRT intervention resulted in less neuropsychological benefits from training. We will evaluate the moderating effects of HIV subtype, ART treatment, and corresponding immunological profile, on CCRT neuropsychological and psychiatric benefit. The moderating effects of HIV progressive encephalopathy on brain plasticity can also be monitored by CCRT training progress, measures by the Captain's Log Internal Evaluator (CLIE) feature of the program.


Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Years to 16 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • HIV children 6 to 16 years of age and enrolled in the CAI program will be eligible should the parent or caregiver consent to participation in the study. They will all be confirmed HIV positive children (ELISA and Western blot). Only children with perinatally acquired HIV infection will be included.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • At pre-CCRT medical examination (see medical exam form in appendices) we will exclude children with a medical history of serious birth complications, severe malnutrition, bacterial meningitis, encephalitis, cerebral malaria, or other known brain injury or disorder requiring hospitalization. Also children with seizure or other neurological disability will be excluded. This will be screened using a brief medical history questionnaire and CAI medical chart review.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00926003

Child Health Advocacy Interntional
Kayunga Town, Uganda
Sponsors and Collaborators
Michigan State University
Makerere University
Child Health Advocacy International
University of Michigan
University of California, San Francisco
  More Information

Responsible Party: Michael J. Boivin, Associate Professor of Neurology and of Psychiatry, Michigan State University Identifier: NCT00926003     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: BIRB 07-709
Study First Received: June 22, 2009
Last Updated: June 22, 2009

Keywords provided by Michigan State University:
cognitive rehabilitation

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Lentivirus Infections
Retroviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes
Immune System Diseases processed this record on August 22, 2017