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HIV Clin Trials. 2011 Nov-Dec;12(6):333-8. doi: 10.1310/hct1206-333.

Low rates of neurocognitive impairment are observed in neuro-asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects on effective antiretroviral therapy.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, St Mary's Hospital Campus, London, UK.



Few studies investigating the rate of neurocognitive (NC) impairment in effectively treated neuro-asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects have been performed.


We assessed NC function via a computerized cognitive test in HIV-infected subjects on stable combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) with plasma HIV RNA<50 copies/mL for at least 3 months. Neurologically symptomatic subjects were excluded. Current cART was evaluated for drug class (protease inhibitor [PI]- vs non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor [NNRTI]-based) and Clinical Penetration Effectiveness (CPE) score. NC impairment was defined as a NC domain score>1 SD below mean age-matched population scores in at least 2 cognitive domains and global NC composite z-score calculated. Associations between NC scores and clinical parameters were evaluated using linear regression.


101 (88% male) subjects participated. Median (IQR) age was 53 (43-62) years, with current CD4+ 525 (373-710) and nadir CD4+ 185 (83-260) cells/┬ÁL. 25 subjects (25%) had chronic hepatitis C. Median (IQR) CPE score was 1.5 (1.5-2.5), and 53% were receiving NNRTI-based cART. Overall 19 (19%) subjects had NC impairment. No association between presence of NC impairment and clinical parameters were observed (P>.14, all values). Poorer global NC composite z-score was independently associated with lower nadir CD4+ lymphocyte count (P=.04) and older age (P<.001) but not other study parameters (P>.10 all values).


In neuro-asymptomatic HIV-infected adults on stable cART, rates of NC impairment are low. HIV disease status (lower nadir CD4+ count) and older age, but not CPE score or cART drug class, are associated with poorer NC performance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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