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Arch Neurol. 1990 Apr;47(4):433-40.

Cognition in early human immunodeficiency virus infection.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Miami, School of Medicine, FL 33136.


Relatively little is known about cognitive changes in early human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This study examined cognitive functioning in 46 HIV-positive gay men relative to an age and education equivalent group of 13 HIV-negative gay men. The HIV-positive men were asymptomatic except for lymphadenopathy or T4 counts less than 700. The cognitive battery measured language, memory, visuospatial, information processing speeds, reasoning, attention, and psychomotor processes. The HIV-positive group was significantly slower in processing information and performed significantly less well than the HIV-negative group on certain verbal memory measures. Deviations of 1 as well as 2 SDs from the norm/control group mean on four or more tests were observed in 43% and 22% of the HIV-positive subjects, respectively, compared with 8% and none of the HIV-negative subjects, respectively. The results suggest that cognitive inefficiency occurs in a subsample of individuals during early HIV infection.

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