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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1990 Dec;12(6):963-78.

Assessment of AIDS-related cognitive changes: recommendations of the NIMH Workshop on Neuropsychological Assessment Approaches.

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Office of AIDS Programs, NIMH, Rockville, Maryland 20857.


This article presents an extended (7-9 hours) and a brief (1-2 hours) battery designed to evaluate early cognitive changes associated with seropositive, asymptomatic persons. The battery was recommended by an NIMH Workgroup which was guided by 10 principles in its development. The domains assessed by the battery are: (1) Indicators of Premorbid Intelligence; (2) Attention; (3) Speed of Processing; (4) Memory; (5) Abstraction; (6) Language; (7) Visuoperception; (8) Constructional Abilities; (9) Motor Abilities; and (10) Psychiatric Assessment. Although the battery assesses a wide range of psychological functioning, specific emphasis has been placed on divided and sustained attention as well as speed of processing and retrieval from working and long-term memory. Descriptions of both the traditional clinical tests and tasks used in cognitive psychology are provided. Although the Workgroup strongly recommends the use of the extended battery in order to ensure the most sensitivity, it recognizes that there may be situations in which this is not possible. In order to increase the likelihood that neuropsychological tests will identify neurologically affected CDC Stage II and III seropositive individuals, the Workshop recommends that each patient's protocol be rated by two trained neuropsychologists using the same clinical criteria. The Workgroup also recommends that a concerted effort be made to incorporate data from the extended and the brief batteries in some central data bank.

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