David Vance, PhD, MGS
Aging Successfully with HIV
David Vance, PhD, MGS, Associate Professor, is currently engaged in conducting his latest research project, “The Effects of Visual Speed of Processing Training on Driving Simulator Performance in Adults with HIV” with funds he received from the UAB Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
For over 10 years, Dr. Vance has been studying the issues surrounding cognitive aging in normal community-dwelling older adults as well as mobility and spiritual issues in the aging population. A specific focus of much of Dr. Vance’s research is with individuals who are HIV-positive. Vance has a passion and a personal connection to this community - “I have friends and a family member who are HIV-positive; I want them to be in my life for a long time and have the opportunity for them to age successfully.” Vance says that while aging with HIV is most definitely a welcome trend, cognitive problems may emerge which interfere with successfully aging with this disease and that it is essential that researchers work to ameliorate negative cognitive aging effects in this growing population.
Dr. Vance’s current study seeks to investigate what neuropsychological factors predict driving risk in middle-aged and older adults with HIV who still drive. This is particularly important because nearly 50% of those with HIV experience a range of neurocognitive deficits anywhere from mild memory loss to significant declines in speed of processing. Such abilities are needed for driving. But as adults age with HIV, they may be more vulnerable to neurocognitive declines that impact driving safety. With the use of a state-of-the-art driving simulator housed within the Edward R. Roybal Center for Translational Research in Aging and Mobility, current drivers with HIV will be evaluated on their driving. In conjunction with an in-depth neuropsychological battery, Vance says he will be able to see what cognitive domains most influence driving safety in this clinical population. “Once we know what abilities are compromised that negatively impact driving, we can target our cognitive remediation therapies appropriately to mitigate such deficits in middle-age and older adults with HIV” says Vance.
The findings from this current project will supply Dr. Vance with the data he will need to submit an R01 to further investigate speed of processing training in middle-age older adults with HIV to help them to improve their everyday functioning and quality of life.
Related in press publications
Vance, D. E., Fazeli, P. L., Ross, L. A., Wadley, V., & Ball, K. (in press 11-4-2011). The effects of speed of processing training on middle-aged and older adults with HIV. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
Vance, D. E., Fazeli, P. L., Moneyham, L., Keltner, N. L., & Raper, J. L. (in press). Assessing and treating forgetfulness and cognitive problems in adults with HIV. Journal of the Association of Nursing in AIDS Care.
Vance, D. E., Dodson, J. E., Watkins, J., Kennedy, B. H., & Keltner, N. L. (in press 3-26-12). Neurological and psychiatric diseases and their unique cognitive profiles: Implications for nursing practice and research. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.