HIV Encephalopathy: Clinical and Diagnostic Considerations

  • Joseph R. Berger
  • Richard Kaderman


Clinically apparent and frequently debilitating neurological disease is common with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HTV-1, hereafter “HIV”) infection. More than 50% of HIV-infected persons will eventually develop symptomatic neurological disease. Early retrospective studies,1,2 performed at a time in the course of this pandemic when life expectancies were considerably shorter and many of the neurological illnesses associated with the infection unrecognized, proffered rates of neurological complications of approximately 40% in patients with AIDS. Other studies have demonstrated significantly higher rates of neurological disease.3 Although neurological disease typically occurs with advanced disease and profound immunosuppression, it is not infrequently the harbinger of AIDS. Neurological disease heralds AIDS in 10%4 to 20%3 of HIV-infected persons. As many as 100,000 HIV-infected individuals develop neurological disease annually in the United States. The frequency with which neuropathological abnormalities are observed at the time of autopsy is substantially higher than the frequency of clinically recognized neurological disease. In some series, more than 90% of patients dying with AIDS display some form of neuropathology at postmortem examination.5,6 It is not surprising that careful neurological examination, even in the absence of specific complaints by the HIV-infected patient, frequently reveals evidence of central or peripheral nervous system dysfunction


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Acquire Immunodeficiency Syndrome Quinolinic Acid Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph R. Berger
    • 1
  • Richard Kaderman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Neurology and PsychologyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

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