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AIDS. 2001 Mar 9;15(4):493-500.

Therapeutic effects of nucleoside analogues on psychomotor slowing in HIV infection.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.



Since psychomotor slowing predicts the development of HIV-1-associated dementia, AIDS and death independently of the immune status, there is urgent need for a neurological therapeutic rationale.


The therapeutic efficacy of nucleoside analogues with different abilities to penetrate into the cerebrospinal fluid was assessed in 410 HIV-1-seropositive patients using the results of detailed fine motor tests, which detect minor motor deficits. Patients were selected who showed pathological psychomotor slowing as signs of central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction before therapy onset and who were then treated only with nucleoside analogues for at least 6 months.


Both zidovudine and didanosine improve CNS function to an equal degree when given as monotherapy. Adding a second nucleoside analogue (didanosine, lamivudine, zalcitabine) to zidovudine does not further improve psychomotor performance. However, adding a second nucleoside after a period of zidovudine monotherapy does result in a second but less remarkable therapeutic effect. Combinations containing stavudine are as effective as those including zidovudine when given as first antiretroviral treatment. Furthermore, stavudine effectively improves motor performance even after pretreatment with zidovudine.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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