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Psychosomatics. 1993 Sep-Oct;34(5):424-31.

A screening test for subtle cognitive impairment early in the course of HIV infection.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Wilford Hall Medical Center.


The authors report on the use of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Copy (ROC) and Memory (ROM) test as a bedside screening measure of cognitive impairment in 67 HIV-seropositive persons (43 men, 24 women). HIV-seropositive individuals scored significantly worse than 49 HIV-seronegative matched individuals (33 men, 16 women) in the control group on the ROC (P = 0.045, effect size = 0.39), but not on the ROM test. The scores did not correlate with stage of HIV infection, CD4a cell counts, cerebrospinal fluid parameters, or measures of affective state. No gender effects on performance were noted. It is concluded that while cognitive deficits may occur early in asymptomatic HIV disease, the ROC/ROM test as the authors used it is not a useful screening tool for clinicians. The study also suggests that the growing number of HIV-positive women should be included in neuropsychological studies of early HIV disease.

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