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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 1998 Feb;12(2):135-40.

Cognitive impairment in school-age children with asymptomatic HIV infection.

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Pediatric Department, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.


Previous studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between clinical expression of HIV-1 disease and deficits in the cognitive and neuropsychologic abilities in afflicted children. To date there are few studies regarding analysis of the cognitive and neuropsychologic development of HIV-positive, asymptomatic nonprogressor children (6-12 years of age) (long-survivors). The purpose of this study was to explore the differences in neuropsychologic development of asymptomatic HIV-positive school-age children compared with a seroreverted group. Evaluation was conducted in 8 children with asymptomatic or mild clinical signs of HIV infection compared with 8 seroreverted children. All tests were administered in three sessions by a trained specialist in neuropsychologic observation. The results of neuropsychologic testing suggested the presence of some learning disorders, as well as major memory and perception deficit. Most of the children tended to have levels of performance that were below normal values. The impairment could likely be the expression of a greater biologic vulnerability of HIV-positive children. Additional studies are necessary to define the risk factors and, hence, the protective factors that might support normal development of HIV-positive children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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